49ers

Why Rams' Jalen Ramsey trade will not close growing gap behind 49ers

Why Rams' Jalen Ramsey trade will not close growing gap behind 49ers

Two days after the unbeaten 49ers sent the Los Angeles Rams to their third consecutive loss, the two-time defending NFC West champions reacted.

The Rams traded away cornerback Marcus Peters -- who intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo in the end zone Sunday and acquired linebacker Kenny Young and a fifth-round draft pick. Then, the Rams put the finishing touches on a trade to acquire disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Rams sent first-round picks in 2020 and ’21 to Jacksonville, along with a fourth-round selection in ’21.

When Ramsey asked for a trade last month, the 49ers were not interested in paying the price, NBC Sports Bay Area reported. General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan were not willing to give up the high draft picks, coupled with the big contract that Ramsey will be seeking when his contract expires.

Ramsey is a great player, of course. He scheduled to make $13.7 million in 2020, the final year of his deal. The Rams are parting ways with two first-round draft picks for a player they have under contract for only one-and-a-half seasons.

If the 49ers’ 20-7 win over the Rams on Sunday showed anything, it’s that the Rams need a lot of help in front of quarterback Jared Goff. The 49ers’ defensive line thoroughly overmatched the Los Angeles offensive line. Goff looked shaken and unsteady. The Rams managed just 48 net passing yards.

The Rams have an obvious need on their offensive line -- especially with Andrew Whitworth, a 14-year veteran, lining up at left tackle. This could be the end of the road for him.

With the college game producing a dearth of offensive linemen, any team that needs help at tackle must invest a high draft pick to get a talented player at that position.

Los Angeles made the decision to acquire one of the league’s best cornerbacks for the next one-and-a-half seasons at the expense of, potentially, beefing up their offensive line with a player who could provide a counter-balance to the 49ers’ strength on the defensive line.

Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead have reason to be excited about facing this collection of Rams offensive linemen for a while.

[RELATED: 49ers' Breida impressed by defense in win against Rams]

Can Ramsey cover tight end George Kittle? That’s about the only way Ramsey can help the Rams in head-to-head matchups against the 49ers. After all, it does not really make a difference at this point with the 49ers' offense if Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin or Deebo Samuel are held to low numbers.

Lynch and Shanahan have put together a long-term plan designed at doing their best to ensure the 49ers can remain competitive on a yearly basis. This trade by an NFC West opponent is a big step toward them achieving that goal.

49ers inactives: George Kittle, Matt Breida ruled out vs. Cardinals

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49ers inactives: George Kittle, Matt Breida ruled out vs. Cardinals

The 49ers' inactive list Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals made their difficult task official. 

Tight end George Kittle (knee, ankle) -- their leading receiver -- and running back Matt Breida (ankle) -- their leading rusher -- won't suit up in the NFC West matchup at Levi's Stadium. 

Kittle injured his left knee and ankle in Week 9 against the Cardinals, and he didn't play Monday night against the Seattle Seahawks. Breida, meanwhile, aggravated his sprained ankle in Monday's loss. 

That defeat was San Francisco's first of the season, and the 49ers will have to bounce back without two leading offensive contributors. The 49ers will have wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, however, as he is active after injuring his ribs Monday against Seattle. 

[RELATED: 49ers, seven other teams reportedly attend Kap workout]

As for the Cardinals, former 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock is among Arizona's inactives. 

The Cardinals played the 49ers tight when Kittle and Breida played two weeks ago, and San Francisco will need to overcome their absences in order to avoid a second straight loss. 

NFL rumors: 49ers, seven other teams attend Colin Kaepernick workout

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NFL rumors: 49ers, seven other teams attend Colin Kaepernick workout

Colin Kaepernick's venue change for his highly anticipated workout reportedly did not deter the 49ers and seven other NFL teams Saturday. 

San Francisco was one of eight teams to attend the quarterback's workout outside of Atlanta, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported last week that the 49ers would attend. 

The 49ers, of course, were Kaepernick's last NFL team. A 2011 second-round draft pick, Kaepernick started 58 games in six seasons with San Francisco and led the 49ers to back-to-back NFC Championship appearances in 2012 and 2013. Kaepernick quarterbacked the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, finishing yards shy of winning the franchise's sixth Super Bowl. 

The 32-year-old has not played since he opted out of his 49ers contract in 2017, shortly after general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan joined the organization. Kaepernick began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem in the 2016 season to protest racial injustice and police brutality against African Americans, and the 49ers' new regime informed Kaepernick he would be released if he did not opt out of his contract. 

Alongside former 49ers teammate Eric Reid, Kaepernick settled a collusion lawsuit with the NFL in February. Kaepernick's representatives claimed they moved Saturday's workout from the Atlanta Falcons facility to a high school outside of Atlanta due to language in the NFL's waiver release which they described as "unusual." Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio obtained the waiver, writing Sunday that the characterization was "an overstatement of its specific contents," but there was "enough language in the waiver to give a prudent, careful lawyer legitimate concern that an aggressive litigator would later argue that signing the document defeats all potential employment claims that Kaepernick could have made."

As for the 49ers, their attendance Saturday likely doesn't mean they're ready to welcome back Kaepernick into the only organization he has ever known. Shanahan told reporters last season that Kaepernick didn't fit his "style of offense" when the 49ers didn't bring Kaepernick in for a workout after Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL. 

[RELATED: Kaepernick tells Goodell, NFL owners to stop running from truth]

The reported remaining teams in attendance were a mix of contenders (Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles), bubble teams (Tennessee Titans, Detroit Lions) and also-rans (New York Jets, Washington), each of which has some kind of need at QB. Of course, that hasn't stopped 32 teams from passing up signing Kaepernick since he became a free agent in 2017.

It probably won't stop them in this case, either.