The San Francisco 49ers looked like the best team in the NFC in the second half of the 2022 season. They rolled into the postseason, winning 10 games in a row to end the regular season before picking up two victories in the playoffs. San Francisco’s run ended in the NFC Championship Game when quarterbacks Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson both got hurt, ending any chances they had to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles.
Heading into the offseason, the team was facing some difficult decisions as well. Several key free agents were entering free agency and a few holes existed on the roster. The 49ers wasted little time in filling those needs.
An infusion of talent was needed in the middle of the defensive line and the 49ers went right to the top of the market. Javon Hargrave signed a four-year, $84 million deal with the team, giving them a dominant defensive tackle to play alongside Nick Bosa.
Another need for the defense was the secondary. Finding some depth at cornerback was necessary and another player at safety could be needed as well. Tashaun Gipson Sr. was re-signed before free agency got underway, but the team did lose Jimmie Ward to the Houston Texans, who followed DeMeco Ryans there.
There are some solid players available still in free agency, but the 49ers could also find what they need on the trade market. One player who could fit the bill is Jordan Whitehead of the New York Jets.
The Jets added safety Chuck Clark to their secondary in a trade earlier this offseason, which could make Whitehead expendable. With a potential logjam, New York could be willing to move Whitehead even without much coming back in a trade package.
What could it take to land Whitehead? A suggested trade for the 49ers is trading their seventh-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, No. 253 overall, to the Jets. He hasn’t quite lived up to expectations with the Jets after signing a free agent deal in 2022 and a change of scenery could be best for him.