In what has to be considered a pretty big surprise, the San Francisco 49ers have traded starting linebacker Eli Harold to the Detroit Lions in exchange for an undisclosed future draft pick.
San Francisco announced it on their official website Thursday, thanking Harold for his three seasons with the team.
Having started 24 games over the past two seasons, Harold was being relied on in San Francisco to improve one of the league’s worst pass rushes. Obviously, things didn’t work out this summer on that front.
The move creates even more issues from a pass-rush standpoint for the 49ers. They released leading sack getter from last season, Elvis Dumervil, during the spring. Of those returning for the 2018 season, DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas led the squad in sacks with three each last season.
It’s not yet known exactly what San Francisco plans to do moving forward. Obviously, there’s going to be rumors about Khalil Mack trading in his Raiders silver and black for the 49ers’ red and gold. But that seems pretty far-fetched right now.
From a Lions perspective, they acquire a still-young 24-year-old to help with their pass rush. Harold recorded five sacks in three seasons with the 49ers.