No NFL team wants to part with promising young talent, but the San Francisco 49ers Trade talent for money with the Dallas Cowboys.
Those from San Francisco will have problems with their salary cap in the near future. With only $2.5 million of salary cap for 2022, the 49ers will have to get creative to hire wide receivers like Deebo Samuel and defensive end Nick Bosa with extensive contracts.
That’s not counting free-agency moves and other deals that might come in, like what wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk could get after his third season in 2023. Someone has to give, and the 49ers may want to sell a talented player whose contract will not be extended instead of being released.
This is where Alex Ballentine’s proposed transfer from Bleacher Report comes into the picture. In the story, 24-year-old Dre Greenlaw appears as one of the top trade options for the 49ers.
“After signing Fred Warner to a 5-year, $92.5 million deal, San Francisco may not want to spend much on another linebacker,” Ballentine wrote. “His athleticism and ability to play zone coverage would make him an ideal partner for [Micah] Parsons.”
The idea of Greenlaw and Parsons patrolling the field together is certainly a tempting sight, but if the Cowboys end up wanting Greenlaw, they’re going to have to drop the big bucks.
The Cowboys need a linebacker.
The main reason this trade makes sense from the Cowboys’ standpoint is that they have two linebackers who are preparing to try to be free agents – Keanu Neal and Leighton Vander Esch. Neither of them played brilliantly in 2021, which does not guarantee their return.
Just like the Niners, the Cowboys have a star leader and linebacker in Parsons. In his rookie season, the former Penn State totaled 13 steals and 84 tackles on his way to being named Rookie Defender of the Year and All-Pro team starter.
As Ballentine points out, Greenlaw would be a great addition that would allow Parsons to do what he does best.
“Micah Parsons is a key piece of defense, but his performance as a defender makes the Cowboys’ need to bring in a linebacker even more urgent.”
Greenlaw is coming off an injury-plagued 2021 season, but his 135 tackles in 32 games and a 5.1% missed tackle rate speak for themselves: he hits hard, doesn’t miss and can make plays all over the field.
The value of Greenlaw
Greenlaw may be good for the Cowboys, but the price has to convince the San Francisco 49ers. So how much can the Niners get for the 24-year-old?
“The 49ers paid $95 million over five years for their star linebacker Fred Warner,” Fowler wrote. “Allocating resources to bring in a second linebacker can be tough. greenlaw, a free agent 2023has played well enough to attract other teams willing to let go of a late pick and extend him.”
If it’s an NFC rival like the Cowboys, the 49ers might want to wait for more than just a late pick. It’s tough to see them get anything more than a third-rounder for Greenlaw, but that would be a welcome return for the former Arkansas Razorback after five years of service.