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Report: 49ers trade backup TE to Patriots

Asante Cleveland, Eddie Pleasant


The official roster cut days are still two weeks away, but teams with glaring needs or mounting injuries are already looking to address those. Per Matt Maiocco of, the 49ers have traded tight end Asante Cleveland to the Patriots.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Patriots are sending backup offensive lineman Jordan Devey, who started four games last season, to the 49ers in exchange for Cleveland.

Such deals often start with simple math. One team has quality depth and a position and takes calls from another team or teams in need of an upgrade. Earlier Tuesday, Maiocco reported that the 49ers had been taking calls about Cleveland and fellow tight end Derek Carrier.

The 49ers brought eight tight ends to camp and also list long snapper Kyle Nelson as a tight end. With Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald locks to make the roster and rookies Blake Bell and Busta Anderson trying to make an impression, there’s logic in making a move.

Cleveland spent time on the practice squad and the active roster last season as an undrafted rookie with the 49ers. Devey made starts at both guard spots.

The Patriots have been dealing with tight end injuries in camp. Another team potentially in the tight end market is the Redskins, who lost Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul to season-ending injuries last week. The only other tight end on the Redskins roster with any real NFL experience, Jordan Reed, has been limited in camp and has a lengthy injury history.

So, maybe the Redskins have called about Carrier. Or, maybe they’ll wait for cutdowns. Either way, the 49ers using a position of strength to potentially add assets (usually late-round draft picks) makes sense.