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49ers try to throw water on Torrey Smith trade talks

Mike Florio says talks are happening for a potential Torrey Smith trade between the 49ers and the Eagles.

In response to multiple reports of a potential trade of receiver Torrey Smith to the Eagles, the 49ers apparently are pushing back. For a variety of potential reasons. (More on that in a minute.)

Matt Maiocco of cites an unnamed league source for the proposition that the “49ers are neither shopping Smith nor is a trade anticipated.”

That may be literally true. The 49ers may not be “shopping” Smith, and a trade may not be anticipated. Indeed, when PFT first reported the existence of talks between the 49ers and the Eagles on Monday night, we explained that a deal was not imminent. There’s a chance a deal may not happen at all.

Which is precisely why the 49ers needed to throw water on the chatter. If a trade doesn’t happen, they need to coexist with a player who has been possibly nestled all snug in his bed with visions of passes not being thrown five feet over his head.

Likewise, if talks are indeed occurring between the 49ers and Eagles (and other outlets, including NFL Media, have confirmed that they are), the 49ers need to get the best possible deal. Taking the position that they’ll just keep Smith could be the best/only leverage, especially if no other team is trying to trade for Smith.

Then there’s the possibility that the 49ers have applied a Patriots-like approach to the trade discussions, making it clear that it anyone blabs about the trade talks, the 49ers will slam the door shut on the possibility. It’s far easier for a perennial contender to take that position; it’s much harder for a team that has nowhere to go but up, and that has a current asset under contract that, through a trade, could help them begin the slow climb back to relevance.