49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 16, 2007
Clock strikes one -- Harris still a Niner

The trade was as obvious as a neon red sign in the middle of a desert. After losing two starters on the right side of their offensive line at the beginning of the season, the Washington Redskins lost three more o-lineman on a slippery field in Green Bay Sunday. Meanwhile, the 49ers' roster is practically bursting with offensive lineman, and they have one good one, former first rounder Kwame Harris, sitting fallow on the sideline. The Redskins can't run to their right. Harris excels at run blocking. Harris is from a town in Delaware that is less than two hours away from the district. The 49ers and Redskins have been trade partners in the past (See: Lloyd, Brandon; Rumph, Michael) and the Redskins have no qualms about giving away draft picks. (See: Lloyd, Brandon).

And maybe that was the rub. Maybe Scot McCloughan and the 49ers burned the Redskins so badly with that Brandon Lloyd deal (Lloyd is to the Redskins lockerroom what Rosie O'Donnell is to Trump Towers) that the 'Skins are hesitant to make a deal. Or maybe Washington doesn't want to trade for a guy who becomes a free agent in March. Or perhaps the 49ers' asking price -- a fifth rounder that can improve to a fourth -- was too steep.

Whatever the case, nothing happened. The trade deadline passed at 1 p.m. and now it looks like Harris will be a 49er for the rest of the season.

It's puzzling to me. As anyone who watched the Redskins-Packers game will tell you, Washington is a legitimate playoff contender. They outplayed Brett Favre and the Packers in Green Bay and only lost because receiver Santana Moss had a devil of a time holding onto the football. (Lloyd, by the way, has chipped in with one catch for nine yards this season.) You wonder, though, whether Washington can stay competitive in the rough and tumble NFC East without addressing the right side of its line.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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