NFL trade deadline: Ranking five wide receivers 49ers could acquire
The Oct. 29 NFL trade deadline quickly is approaching. While the undefeated 49ers are sitting pretty in the standings, they have some big decisions to make.
Should the front office trade future assets for a run at the Super Bowl this season? CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that the 49ers are "highly motivated" to add a wide receiver.
So, who should San Francisco go after? Let's rank the five receivers linked to the 49ers in La Canfora's report, based on impact, contract, etc.
5. DeVante Parker, Dolphins
Parker, 26, is the kind of big receiver the 49ers at 6-foot-3 and 216 pounds. He also never has quite lived up to the hype of a former No. 14 overall NFL draft pick.
The five-year pro has yet to play a full season and has gone through back-to-back down seasons after a career-high 744 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2016. Parker is signed through next season after signing a two-year, $10 million contract extension in March.
Miami is in full tank mode and should be sellers at the deadline. But Parker could be a part of the Dolphins' future plans and wouldn't be a huge difference-maker in San Francisco.
4. Taylor Gabriel, Bears
Gabriel experienced a career-year in his first season with the Falcons when 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was Atlanta's offensive coordinator. The 5-foot-7 speedster caught 35 passes for 579 yards and six touchdowns in 2016 while averaging 16.5 yards per catch.
He had a career-high 688 yards receiving last season for the Bears, but has just 116 yards this year in Chicago.
The Bears signed Gabriel to a four-year, $26 million contract before the 2018 season. He's signed through next season and would be a $7.5 million cap hit in 2020. Shanahan knows how to utilize the 28-year-old, however, and he could be an intriguing option.
3. Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos
Sanders has become a hot name on the trade market for the 2-5 Broncos. 9news' Mike Klis reported Sunday that Denver likely will trade the veteran receiver, and Benjamin Allbright reported last week that the 49ers have called about Sanders.
The veteran receiver would become an instant threat in Shanahan's offense and can be used in multiple ways. He has 30 receptions for 367 yards and two touchdowns so far this season, and his 68.2 catch rate is the third-best of his career.
Sanders, 32, would be a rental piece for the 49ers. He becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
2. A.J. Green, Bengals
This is the star name everyone seems to be attaching to the 49ers, and it makes sense. Green is a big-time playmaker when healthy -- which he hasn't been -- and could be an instant game-changer for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
However, all reports have indicated the 0-7 Bengals plan to hold on to Green despite their record and the fact that he will be a free agent after this season. If he does become available, the Bengals likely will seek a first-round draft pick in return.
They can't afford to trade a first-round pick for a rental piece who hasn't played one game this season with an ankle injury.
Green is talented, but the 49ers have to weigh the risks and rewards here.
1. Mohamed Sanu, Falcons
*Editor's note: This story was published one day before the Falcons traded Sanu to the Patriots for a second-round draft pick.
Bring the Sanu-Shanahan reunion to Santa Clara.
Sanu played two seasons under Shanahan in Atlanta where he averaged 678 yards receiving and 4.5 touchdowns. He's a big slot receiver at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds and could be an instant favorite for Jimmy G.
Sanu, 30, is sure-handed and has a 78.6-percent catch rate this year. He is signed through next season and carries a $7.9 million cap hit.
The 1-6 Falcons are reeling and easily could be sellers at the deadline. General manager John Lynch should be on the phone trying to get Shanahan's old friend in a 49ers jersey.