Mailbag: Ginn's viability for 49ers


Matt from Santa Cruz., Calif., writes: Hey Sando, could the Brandon Marshall trade still affect the NFC West? The Niners need a returner (and a third second/third receiver). Maybe they pick up Ted Ginn Jr.? Possible?

Mike Sando: The 49ers will probably take their chances in the draft. That is just my feel. They could draft a position player with return capabilities.

Adding Ginn for a later-round pick would make sense on one level because Ginn is young and has made impact plays in the return game.

But the 49ers would also inherit a contract paying more than $1 million in salary for 2010 and nearly $1.4 million for 2011, with an escalator that could add another $2.9 million in salary for 2011. I wouldn't give away a decent draft choice just to take a one-year flier on a return specialist if the 49ers didn't think Ginn could help at receiver.

The 49ers like bigger position players as a general rule. Ginn weighs 180 pounds.

The Rams' return game was fine with Danny Amendola back there. The Cardinals drafted LaRod Stephens-Howling in the seventh round and he nearly won the Tennessee game for them with a kickoff return for a touchdown.

Of course, Ginn isn't a bad player just because he might not fit with the Dolphins. He was a holdover from the previous leadership. As a high pick, his struggles have come to symbolize what was wrong with the Dolphins. They're moving in another direction now.

Ginn burned the Jets for two kickoff returns of 100-plus yards last season. He hasn't returned punts on a regular basis since his rookie season in 2007, and his punt-return averages have fallen off as well. Could just be a matter of opportunities.

Kevin from Phoenix writes: Mike, thanks for keeping us all up to date on everything NFC West! So, Brandon Marshall has been traded by the Broncos, leaving a huge void for them at wide receiver.

A while back, I asked if you thought the Cardinals would have been interested in dealing Anquan Boldin and a pick -- second or third round -- to get Elvis Dumervil from the Broncos. Obviously, this trade would have been contingent on Marshall moving on. My question was met with some scrutiny from you and some of your followers, but no team has really received what they wanted for their "marquee" trade bait.

With that in mind, and with how cheap the Ravens signed Boldin for, do you think the Broncos would have been better taking Boldin and a third for Dumervil? I also asked if the Cardinals would be able to get Antonio Cromartie for a second, and look what the Jets did. Frustrating!

Mike Sando: The Jets are winning the offseason, no question. We'll see how it all fits together. I'm usually a little skeptical. The offseason hype doesn't automatically translate. Tell me how well Mark Sanchez plays. That's the most important variable in determining whether the Jets improve.

Dumervil wasn't going anywhere. I just saw no reason for the Broncos to trade an excellent young pass-rusher. Getting rid of Marshall was bad enough. He also should have been a cornerstone player based on age, ability and recent production.

It's tough when the whole league knows you're trying to move an unhappy player. The value is never going to be as great. Denver did well getting a couple second-round choices for Marshall.

Jacob from Denmark writes: Hi Mike. If Stan Kroenke does gets full ownership of the Rams, do you think there would be any chance that he would move the team to London? Also, commissioner Roger Goodell has been very interested in the European market. Do you think he would be more likely to bend the cross-ownership rules if Kroenke wanted to make the Rams the first European NFL franchise?

Mike Sando: Kroenke does own a 29.98 percent stake in Arsenal of the Premier League, so his sports interests extend beyond U.S. borders, but we're probably a ways off from the NFL expanding across oceans. That is just my opinion. What a hassle it would be for teams to travel.

Kroenke would probably push for a new stadium in St. Louis before exploring options elsewhere.

I'm mostly interested in seeing what conditions might apply to his eventual approval as full owner of the Rams and whether any conditions would restrict his options to move the team. I think he'll get approved. The bigger question is just under what terms.

Brandon from Kirkland, Wash., writes: Hey Sando, thanks for reading. Do you think having the Williams duo trying out at camp had anything to do with the Hawks not pulling the trigger on Marshall?

Mike Sando: No. Mike Williams and Reggie Williams haven't had enough time to show the Seahawks anything to this point. Several factors could have affected how far Seattle was willing to go. It probably came down to price unless the Broncos preferred trading Marshall to Miami for unknown reasons.

Tim from Norfolk, Va., writes: Mike, I read the blog every day, so I was wondering what the prospect is of the 49ers drafting Joe Haden at 13, C.J. Spiller at 17, and then trading up in the second round for Rodger Saffold if we do not have a shot at one of the premier tackles?

Mike Sando: One general manager I spoke with recently thought Saffold would probably go in the first round. I also question whether Spiller would remain available that late. It's tough to say for sure because so many variables can affect the direction a team goes during a draft. Haden and Spiller seem like decent candidates for Jacksonville at No. 10.