Could 49ers, Texans be trade partners before deadline? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers could be active before this year's Nov. 3 NFL trade deadline, especially if they can beat the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night and get back to winning.
For a team that was minutes away from winning a Super Bowl last season, the 49ers have plenty of holes right now thanks to a barrage of injuries. So, who might be a good trade partner for San Francisco? Perhaps the disappointing Houston Texans.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that league sources told him a "number of teams are preparing to engage in trade talks with Houston." The Texans entered Sunday just 1-4 and already fired coach Bill O'Brien. It wouldn't be crazy to see a fire sale on the way in Houston.
Who might the Texans look to dangle? La Canfora reported general managers and team executives have their eyes on pass rusher Whitney Mercilus, linebacker Zach Cunningham, corner Bradley Roby, tight end Darren Fells and receivers Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller. Theoretically, all those players fit the 49ers' needs.
The 49ers' need for more pass rushers is well known. They lost Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas to season-ending knee surgeries and Dee Ford has played just one game while dealing with neck and back issues. Linebacker has become more of a possible need, too, with Kwon Alexander's latest injury. And don't even get the 49ers started on their issues at cornerback with injuries and others outside of Jason Verrett not stepping up when needed.
Fells could an interesting option for the 49ers as they look for another receiving threat at tight end after losing Jordan Reed for multiple weeks to an MCL injury. Fells, 34, caught his third touchdown this season on Sunday. Cooks and Fuller both would bring home-run threats to the 49ers' offense as speedsters who also have been a bit inconsistent at times.
This all could come down to what the Texans would want in return. Houston should be desperate for draft picks after O'Brien depleted them with wild trades, and could want 49ers general manager John Lynch to hand over some high picks. But beggars can't be choosers.
The 49ers don't have a third-round pick in next year's draft and will have to constantly reassess their team after getting off to a 2-3 start. If they feel like these available Texans can help at the right price and they soon find themselves back in the playoff picture, there's no reason Lynch shouldn't at least explore solving his problems with a call to Houston.