The 49ers are back in the thick of the playoff race after stopping by the House That Tom Brady Built and blowing out Bill Belichick and the Brady-less New England Patriots, 33-6.
This is a team balancing big bites by the injury bug while still having big-time weapons in Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk, along with Kyle Shanahan as one of the best coaches in the NFL. At 4-3, what do the 49ers do next? Do they stand pat or get busy before the Nov. 3 NFL trade deadline?
Chris Simms believes the 49ers should be buyers, and that was before their dominant win over the Patriots. There could be plenty of available options for the 49ers, but one name they should avoid is Carlos Dunlap.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the Bengals have been in active trade talks surrounding the Bengals' veteran defensive end, who has privately and publicly expressed his frustrations with the organization. On paper, the 49ers could very much need Dunlap. Pass rushers Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas are out for the year with torn ACLs, and Dunlap, who twice has made the Pro Bowl, averaged 8.2 sacks per season through 2019.
Dunlap simply isn't worth it for the 49ers, though.
The Bengals might have hit their boiling point with Dunlap on Sunday. In the closing seconds of the Bengals' 37-34 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Dunlap was seen getting into a heated exchange with defensive line coach Nick Eason. That was just the start to his antics, too. In a since-deleted tweet, Dunlap put his Cincinnati home up for sale after the loss.
Along with his latest stunts, Dunlap, 31, simply hasn't been that good this season. He has just one sack and four QB hits this year. Bad fit for the locker room? Check. Low production? Check. Then there's Dunlap's contract. He's signed through next season and has a $13.5 million cap hit for 2021, according to Spotrac.
That's the trifecta of a trade option to avoid.
General manager John Lynch could be a busy man before the trade deadline. While he could be on the search for more pass rushers, Dunlap's name should be crossed off. He isn't worth the headache.