Insider discusses whether Speedy 49ers Defender is a commercial candidate

Getty Azeez Al-Shaair and Dre Greenlaw during Week 1 of the 49ers’ win over the Lions.

There was a huge commercial rumor that a San Francisco 49ers writer felt compelled to address during his mailing session with his readers on Thursday, June 30.

But it’s not the trade you’re thinking about.

“I will try something radical today. How about a 49ers mailbag that doesn’t answer a single question about Deebo Samuel? David Lombardi of Athletic departed.

So what business talk did Lombardi decide to dive into? It’s the opposite side of the ball for the 49ers.

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Insider discusses whether Speedy 49ers Defender is a commercial candidate

Greenlaw is entering a critical season: He’s returning from an injury-plagued campaign that included a hamstring ailment from the NFC Championship game and a Grade 2 groin strain that sidelined him for nine games. And the 6-foot-227-pound player is attempting his return in a contract year this fall.

Is Greenlaw negotiable?

“I don’t see it,” Lombardi said. He then dived into the reasons why Greenlaw’s value is on the “depression” side.

“Greenlaw is coming off a season where he played just three games due to injury. That will depress a player’s commercial value,” Lombardi explained. “The 49ers want a fast and deep support body, so a healthy Greenlaw grouped with Fred Warner, Azeez Al-Shamir, and Oren Burks can constitute just that.”

When healthy, Greenlaw gives the 49ers a backer who once ran a 4.73 running time over 40 yards.

Dre Greenlaw, also known as Mike Tyson, put the wood into this one. In addition, Greenlaw has never stayed healthy in his first three seasons in the league, which tends to label a player as worthy of a trade by fans.

Final Contract Status

To reiterate, 2022 presents a critical season for the 25-year-old from Arkansas, who was once part of the 2019 49ers draft class along with prized draft picks Samuel and Nick Bosa.

According to Spotrac, Greenlaw will earn a base salary of $2,540,000 for the upcoming season before becoming an unrestricted free agent for 2023. And he’s not the only fast defender facing a year’s contract.

“Greenlaw and Al-Shaair are entering the final years of their rookie deals,” Lombardi wrote. “The 49ers may not be able to pay them both next offseason, so consider 2022 as an audition year for the contract. And the 49ers totally agree with that. They may have the best linebacker team in the NFL, and the return of a last-round draft pick through trade wouldn’t be worth taking the sting out of that unit.”

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