On March 26, the 49ers made the blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins to take ownership of the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Three days before making their selection, Kyle Shanahan downplayed the price of the trade, not quite understanding the math that people outside of the building are using.
“You trade three [first-round picks], which I don’t get how people think that, but you traded three ones and you did all this stuff to make the biggest move in the history of the organization and I know — that’s a little dramatic to me.” Shanahan said Monday on a video conference with reporters.
Shanahan explained the price is, more accurately, two future first-round selections in 2022 and 2023 in order to move up nine spots to No. 3 since they actually do not lose their first-round selection in 2021.
The head coach admitted that there is always risk involving a trade of this magnitude, but that it is one you have to take for a game-changing player. Shanahan cited Seattle Seahawks’ Jamal Adams and Los Angeles Rams’ Jalen Ramsey as examples of trades for multiple first-round picks that have been successful.
While the price tags were similar, the circumstances are decidedly different as both Adams and Ramsey had played in the NFL prior to being traded for multiple first-round selections.
Seattle sent two future first-round selections (2021 and 2022), a third-round in 2021 and safety Bradley McDougald to the Jets to acquire Adams and a fourth-round pick in 2022.
The Rams sent their first round selections in 2020 and 2021 and a fourth-round pick in 2021 to the Jaguars to bring Ramsey to Los Angeles.
“I watched two teams the last couple years make awesome moves and take two ones for a starting Pro Bowl starting safety and I’ve seen a team trade two ones for a starting Pro Bowl corner,” Shanahan said. “I think those decisions were awesome for their teams and I hate playing against them because of it.
“We thought two first-round picks for our future, guaranteeing us we have a starting quarterback — we were very excited about that and felt very fortunate that Miami was excited too."
Shanahan has always believed in the school of thought that quarterbacks are expensive financially. Waiting to see if the future signal-caller of the franchise was still available at No. 12 was an even bigger risk that the club was not willing to make. The coach simply stated the price is simply the cost of doing business in the NFL.
“Not necessarily a smart move but a move that you have to do and it’s the cost that you have, to do these types of things,” Shanahan said. “Or you just sit there and wait and keep your fingers crossed and hope things work out and that’s something we don’t want to do this year.”