SANTA CLARA -- On Sunday, a report said the 49ers were willing to trade their top offensive lineman, Joe Staley. On Monday, their top receiver, Torrey Smith, was being bandied about as a trade possibility.
Multiple national outlets said the 49ers have discussed moving Smith, with Pro Football Talk saying that the Eagles currently were the most likely suitors. Smith spent his first four seasons down the road from Philadelphia with the Baltimore Ravens where he totaled 3,591 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns.
He hasn't been nearly as effective in two bad 49ers' offenses, and he's on pace this year for the lowest output of his career. He had one catch for 17 yards Sunday against Tampa Bay.
As is the case with Staley, however, losing Smith would make the 49ers even more talent starved than they already are. He's by far their most accomplished receiver. Without him, the team's starting wideouts would be Jeremy Kerley, Quinton Patton and Rod Streater.
A league source said the 49ers are not shopping any players. It’s possible the players, through their agents, obtained permission to seek a trade before next week’s trade deadline.
In February, Colin Kaepernick asked to be traded. That allowed the 49ers to engage in discussions with other teams while maintaining publicly that they weren’t actively trying to trade the quarterback.
“Because I think sometimes it helps players work through anything they may have,” general manager Trent Baalke told CSN Bay Area of that dynamic in March. “It gives them a chance to see what their options really are. It also gives us a chance to say we didn’t hold you back from doing that.”
The 49ers and Broncos had the parameters of deal for Kaepernick worked out, but the quarterback balked at the pay cut the Broncos desired and the deal fell through.
Or it may be that other teams, aware that the 49ers are very unlikely to make the playoffs, are calling Santa Clara to see who might be available. On Monday Chip Kelly said that he has not heard any discussion of moving Staley, whom Pro Football Talk said the 49ers was willing to deal for a late first-round pick. The trade deadline is Nov. 1 at 1 p.m.
“I understand how it comes up because we’re 1-6 and Joe is a veteran player,” Kelly said. “But it doesn’t matter where you are -- that’s going to be speculation no matter what team you are and where you are, who are your older players. It’s kind of the nature of the sport we play.”