Among the players the 49ers were shopping in advance of last week's trade deadline was outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks, FOX sports' Jay Glazer reported today. According to Glazer, the Browns were interested in acquiring Brooks but that the 49ers “bailed” on the deal late.
The 49ers, of course, are expected to get their top player at the position, Aldon Smith, back from suspension either this week or next. And it speaks to the progress made by rookie Aaron Lynch, who mostly has played on the same side – the left side – on which Brooks plays.
Indeed, when Smith gets back, the team's two nickel rushers are expected to be Smith and Lynch. The 49ers also have Dan Skuta and Corey Lemonier at the position. Demarcus Dobbs can play outside linebacker in a pinch.
Brooks had a career-high 8 ½ sacks last season. But his play has been spotty this year and he has three sacks -- tied for the team lead -- through seven games. He also is scheduled to have salary-cap numbers in excess of $9 million over the next two seasons.
That the 49ers would entertain trading Brooks also is confirmation that they see the talented but often troubled Smith being part of the team – and occupying a lot of salary-cap space – in upcoming seasons. The 49ers this year picked up an option on Smith’s contract that will pay him more than $9.7 million next season.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.