Heading into the 2023 NFL Trade Deadline, many expected the San Francisco 49ers to make some sort of deal. Their secondary, specifically defensive back, was named as the team’s biggest need to address with a trade.
While the 49ers didn’t acquire any defensive backs, they did make a blockbuster to bolster the defense. San Francisco acquired defensive end Chase Young from the Washington Commanders in exchange for a compensatory third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
It was a shocking development, especially after Washington had already traded fellow defensive end Montez Sweat to the Chicago Bears. Moving on the two was expected as retaining both in free agency was a near impossibility. But to see Chase land with the 49ers later in the day was surprising.
It was a move that the 49ers received a lot of praise for. One of the people who thought they did a great job was Brad Spielberger of PFF. They were one of four teams to receive a “great” rating from him in his trade deadline tracker.
“San Francisco struggled to generate much pressure over the past two weeks in matchups with the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals, so they made a splash a day after the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks added interior defender Leonard Williams. Young’s 18.2% pass-rush win rate ranks 13th among edge defenders, and he’s been playing much fuller snap counts after recovering from a torn ACL that kept him out for some time.
We like this move no matter the outcome, but we think this may be just a rental for the 49ers and then they hope to recoup a 2025 third-round compensatory pick after sending over one of their 2024 third-round compensatory picks earned when Ran Carthon became the Tennessee Titans general manager this past offseason and DeMeco Ryans became the Houston Texans’ head coach.
After signing interior defender Javon Hargrave to a four-year, $84 million deal and then making Nick Bosa the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, it would be a lot to also pay Young. However, perhaps San Francisco moves on from Arik Armstead and this becomes something of a swap for 2024 and beyond.”
Even if this is a rental for the 49ers, it was a no-brainer deal to make. Should Young leave in free agency, they will very likely recoup the compensatory pick that it cost them to acquire him based on the formula that is used.
Snagging Young for a cheaper price than the Seattle Seahawks paid to land Leonard Williams from the New York Giants is another positive. It cost Seattle a second and fifth-rounder for the veteran Williams, who is also on an expiring deal and will be 30 before the 2024 regular season.
Opposing offenses are going to have a tough time blocking all of this firepower the 49ers now possess defensively. Having Young coming off the edge with Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa, with Javon Hargrave in the middle, is going to give opposing offensive coordinators nightmares. Good luck slowing them down with All-Pro Fred Warner creating havoc at the second level behind them.