Santa Clara – The 49ers’ final trade of the season pales in comparison to the acquisitions of Jimmy Garoppolo and Emmanuel Sanders in recent years, but they struck a deal Wednesday to aid their impulse with broken passes.
A league source confirmed that Jordan Willis, a reckless third-year player, joins the Niners from the New York Jets, the worst in the NFL.
Willis’ trade will not be official, due to the ongoing COVID-19 protocol and physical exam, until next week, so he is unavailable when the 49ers (3-3) play next Sunday at the New England Patriots (2-3).
The cost isn’t prohibitive for the 49ers intent on producing a larger experimental class next year from this year’s five-man package, coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday. The NFL Network reported that the 49 teams will participate in the sixth round selection of 2022 versus Willis and the choice of the seventh round in 2021.
One look at the current line of defense and it’s clear why Willis is needed. Better yet, check out the injury report, as the 49-man squad has lost many defenders this season: Nick Bossa, Solomon Thomas and Ziggy Insah. Also, neither de Ford (rear) nor Ronald Blair (knee) are expected to be available before Week 10 so they are out for another month.
Willis has three career bags in 43 games. He played his first two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals as a pick for the third round of 2017 from Kansas. Upon joining the Jets in 2019, he made nine appearances last season, but only two this year for the club not to win, and have been inactive in their second week’s defeat of the 49ers on the host aircraft.
The 49ers defense went without a bag for the first time this season on Sunday evening, when they beat the Los Angeles Rams 24-16 while Jared Gove completed only 50 percent of his passes.
Eric Armsted and Keri Haider were the starting endings of the 49ers. In relief were Dionys of Jordan, Kentavius Street, Kevin Givens and Alex Barrett.
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Top 49 trades under Shanahan / Lynch since 2017:
1. Jimmy Garoppolo, from Bates (2017). He scored for them the NFC-winning second-round pick QB.
2. Emmanuel Sanders, From Bronco (2019). His veteran presence and playability arrived last October just in time to lead last season to the Super Bowl.
3. Trent Williams, from Washington (2020). Joe Staley’s retirement prompted the 49th team to secure his successor, and it cost them the selection of the fifth winner in 2020 and 2021 in the third round of the one-year Test.
4. DeForest Buckner, to Colts (2020). This may backfire if the defensive front collapses amid injuries, but getting a first-round pick in turn was vital, and only the 49 players can hope for Javon Kinlow to continue his upward trend.
5. Dee Ford, by the Chiefs (2019). Injury after injury does not make this deal worthwhile, although the 49 players will insist that the cost of last year (player two; huge contract) was pivotal to the seventh-team appearance in the Super Bowl.
6. No, Tomlinson, by Lions (2017). He was a reliable fixture in the left goalkeeper, and although he started the season with mixed results, he made a good comeback in the last game.
* Notable players who traded away: Tight end Vance McDonald (Steelers, 2017), corner back Rashard Robinson (Jets, 2017), right-handed Trent Brown (2018, Patriots), midfield Daniel Kilgore (2018, Dolphins), full back Eli Harold (2018, Lions), full-back Dekoda Watson (2019, Broncos), recipient Marquise Goodwin (2020, Eagles), Matt Breda’s comeback (2020, Dolphins)