Background On Wirfs Trade

May 4th, 2020

Working the draft.

Yes, we all know the Bucs swapped picks with San Francisco in order to land right tackle Tristan Wirfs.

Some Bucs fans squirmed in their seats because AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht coughed up a fourth-round pick (LOL) in order to put him in position the get Wirfs.

Well, per the information from Albert Breer of, had Licht not coughed up that pick, Wirfs likely wouldn’t be in the middle of virtual Bucs workouts. Breer wrote in his column this morning, “Monday Morning Quarterback” that Lynch was seriously about to pull the trigger on Wirfs until Licht called him and dangled a fourth-round pick in his face.

Only then did Lynch decide he would pick Javon Kinlaw.

Lynch, writes Breer, knew left tackle anchor Joe Staley was retiring but Staley agreed to keep it under wraps to allow the 49ers to shop for his replacement. He had talked with Riverboat Ron Rivera about trading for Trent Williams, hoping a yay or nay would come before the draft.

Rivera told Lynch just as the draft began he couldn’t give Lynch a flat decision because too many teams were calling about Williams. In other words, it was a seller’s market for Williams.

Instead, Wirfs, who the Niners had “ranked incredibly high,” per Lynch, was there for them at 13, as a potential long-term answer at tackle, with the Williams situation still in a state of flux. San Francisco could take Wirfs and find peace in not having to worry that the Shanahan/Williams reunion (Williams was Mike’s first draft pick in Washington to kick off their four years together) would come undone. But also on the board was South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, whom the Niners earmarked before Day 1 as their top guy among those likely to make it to 13, and someone for whom they’d stay at 13.

Then the Bucs called, and created a decision point for Lynch and the crew (Marathe, Shanahan and VP of player personnel Adam Peters). Everyone knew the Bucs were looking for tackle help. So moving down one spot would give the Niners a fourth-rounder (they didn’t have a 2, 3 or 4, thanks to deals for Sanders and Ford) as ammo, if they needed it, on the Williams front, and make the Kinlaw/Wirfs decision for them.

“By that point, what I’d tell you is, I wouldn’t say it was a great deal of confidence, but we knew we were in the Trent Williams thing,” Lynch said. “We knew that we’d have a shot.”

So if Licht had not offered a fourth-round pick, a pick Lynch stated sold him that he could afford a ransom for Williams, it seems Lynch would have drafted Wirfs.

Regardless, Licht ID’ed his man and went out and got him. Isn’t that what you hear people say each year that general managers should do?

And if you look at the history of Bucs’ fourth-round draft picks (which is largely ghastly), the Bucs basically traded the next Dre Moore or kneeling Akeem Spence for a guy that should be starting on the Bucs’ offensive line for the rest of the decade and maybe longer.

36 Responses to “Background On Wirfs Trade”

  1. LordCornelius Says:

    I was fine with Wirfs or Kinlaw. Ultimately will come down to how each player pans out.

  2. Sarasota Garey Says:

    Well worth the trade.

  3. Joe in Michigan Says:

    If Jason Licht had a draft like the Pittsburgh Steelers had in 1974, with Hall of Famers Lynn Swann (1st), Jack Lambert (2nd), John Stallworth (4th), and Mike Webster (5th), some Bucs “fans” would complain because he took Jimmy Allen in the 4th and he didn’t make the Hall of Fame. I’m not saying he’s the greatest GM, far from it, my point is some people will complain about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. For those of you who don’t, thank you!

  4. Allbuccedup Says:

    Good fair trade.

  5. Marine Buc Says:

    Losing that 4th round pick stung a little bit but not being able to draft a top quality RT would have stung worse. No one will care about this 4th round pick and Wirfs looks like the real deal.

  6. Casual Observer Says:

    As Lord says, both Wirfs and Kinlaw are likely outstanding picks. Either one was OK. But we filled a greater need with Wirfs. Well worth the trade.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Very hard to second-guess this…….If it was a bluff from Lynch, it was a calculated bluff…..Lynch was holding the cards….At least we traded a pick for the right player….

    Licht has been fast & loose with his extra picks…..seems to look at them as expendable…..

  8. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    It doesn’t really matter. Wirfs was not supposed to be anywhere near us. We auctioned a 4th which we have about a 50/50 ish rate of hitting a reasonable player on. for an O lineman with huge upside that will play for us for the next decade

    and be on a rookie contract for 4 years.

  9. stpetebucsfan Says:


    That was truly an amazing draft. Not many top our twin HOFer draft with Sapp and Brooks but that one did.

    I always put an asterisk next to the “number” of Steeler titles because it was before free agency and teams could be kept together

    But when you look at sheer talent…hard to top those old Steeler teams.

  10. Sarasota Garey Says:

    The next best tackle fell to the 3rd rd, im not sure about Austin Jackson either.

  11. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    That’s the way I thought it went. Thanks for the insight too guys. I knew Lynch caved in to his former team. Believe you and me he gave Licht first dibs at that pick and when he came with a fourth then it was a no brainier

  12. firethecannons Says:

    glad it worked out that Licht did not make the Jacksonville trade that would of cost a #3 and a #4 get back a #6 for right to draft Wirfs.

  13. SirClicksAlot Says:

    Akeem Spence was one of our best 4th round picks in recent memory and not fair to compare to since he was such an outlier. I think he’s on his fourth NFL contract, which makes him a huge outlier for round 4. I don’t think it’s realistic to imagine that pick would have been worth anything more than camp meat, so I’m happy Licht traded it to ensure we got a blue chip o lineman.

  14. miken Says:

    So lynched LOVED wirfs but decided he would pass because of a free 4th round pick… sure.

  15. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    He probably had the Trent Williams trade all but done.

    and he needed to replace Buckner.

  16. Sarasota Garey Says:

    Im sure he loved Kinlaw also.

  17. AwShbucs Says:

    Say what you will about Licht, and I’ll be honest I wasnt on board with keeping him until I knew he had Arians on the proverbial hook, but the guy has drafted several players who you could easily argue are on a hall of fame trajectory.

    Yes he’s had his blunders. Aguayo, MJ Stewart and lil Snoopy being the worst of the bunch, but I think I have a clearer picture in my head now of how he operates as a GM. I think he takes ver strongly into consideration the preferences of his coaching staff. And when you’ve got guys like ol Smitty and Dork Koetter in your ear that’s going to lead to some bad draft picks.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Moving up to #13 to assure getting Wirfs was the best move of the night by any GM. Yes we gave up a 4th Rounder, BUT … this was the first year in forever that we’ve even gotten a Comp pick. And that Comp Pick was … tada … a 4th Rounder. It was a freebie to start with.

    Now, giving up a 4th Rounder for Gronk, THAT’S a different story. He was never gonna play for the Patriots, and Belicheck knew it. And even IF Gronk had agreed to play for the Patriots, they couldn’t have afforded to pay him. Their salary Cap is a disaster. Reality IMO is that anything above a 6th or 7th Rounder was gross overpayment. We got fleeced on that one.

  19. Clw JB Says:

    just tell yourself we traded the 4th rounder to get into the Top Ten to take Wirfs, which is right where most thought he would be…

    we HAD to get one of the top 4 tackles, period

  20. JimmyJack Says:

    And we heard directly after the draft that other teams were wanting to trade up with San Fran instead. Did we not? Now we hear a entirely separate detail of events. Somebody’s lying. These NFL suits just act like politican wanna bees I swear.

    Dude it’s football. We made a trade it’s not even a big deal. Do we need lies so we can have a story? The only story I’ll worry about is if Licht picked a good player with his pick or drafted another absolute flop of a first round choice again.

    I’m rootin for Wirfs!!!

  21. JimmyJack Says:

    Also hearing other stories about Licht trying to trade up for picks 9&10…..Maybe maybe not. All’s I say is your a sucker if you believe it unbridally. All’s these NFL needs do is lie in nearly everything they say. Our solace is we get the product on the field which eventually reveals truth.

  22. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Of course the sheep are happy that licht bulb overpaid!!!!!!!!!!! That is what every moron that over paid for their house has said!!!!! That they “had” to overpay because there were so many offers and interest!!!!!!!!! The bucs gm is an easy mark in the draft!!!!!!! When other gm’s wonder what licht bulb will do in the first round, they just have to ask, what is the team’s biggest need!!!!!!!!! It is well known in NFL circles that licht bulb is the biggest draft for need!!!!!!!!!!

    And the sheep need to stop thinking that 3rd day picks are ” a waste” and start asking if the gm is “a waste”!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It’s time to herd the sheep, and put them back in the pen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. 2020 Year of the GOAT Says:

    JL did what he had to do….. they are all in…. for this year….. if we dont make the playoffs someone gets fire…..

  24. AwShbucs Says:

    Oh yeah Realist? And if Licht missed out on addressing the RT position with one of the best prospects in the draft I’m sure youd be lambasting him for not getting Brady the protection he needs.

  25. El Buco Realisto Says:


    Licht bulb has just completed his 7th draft and 7th free-agency, you should be “lambasting” him for using the premium pick, a d having to trade up for a right tackle!!!!!!!!! A Right Tackle!!!!!!!!!!! Look at the good GM’s and see how many used a top 15 pick in the draft for a right tackle!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. WhyIHateOurFans Says:

    People act like 4th rounders are all pro players 90 percent of the time. It’s a stinking 4th rounder

  27. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Right tackle isn’t Important?

    I knew the voices in Realists head get to him but come on. depending on who you ask the right tackle is the 3rd-5th most position on the field


  28. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Pick 117 was DJ Wonnum, DE, South Carolina. If the pick really means that much to you, El Buco Fake-A-Leasto, you can follow the Vikings now. The pick meant so much to San Fran that they traded it off, too.

  29. sincethebeginning Says:

    I gotta be honest, I want us to play the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game this next year really really really bad! Lynch versus his old team and Brady the mentor vs Garoppolo the student and old school d-line versus Todd Bowles’ blitz o mania. Sherman’s mouth versus Evans’ and Godwin’s class. Gronk showing Kittle what it means to be a true top-class Hall of Fame tight end and not just some look-at-me wannabe. I’m telling you, San Francisco vs Tampa Bay in the NFC Conference Championship would be the freaking best thing ever.

  30. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    ^^^ LOL!

  31. BringBucsBack Says:

    Reports are that Miami was the team that wanted to trade up. One of the few, if not the only team to have the ammunition. Lynch wasn’t going to drop that far down. Had he done so, he would have missed out on Wirfs & Kinlaw. He wanted Kinlaw all along because he probably had Williams in the bag and Licht gave him a forth when he didn’t have to…candy from a baby!

    Glad we got Wirfs, though!

  32. Buczilla Says:

    Totally fine with giving up a 4 to get Wirfs. Now how about finding a real running back Licht?

  33. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    good gamble for licht because he is not that great on gauging talent so he probably would have wasted that 4th round pick anyways

  34. Ocala Says:

    Bucs home opener is Monday night football at home against the Falcons

  35. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Ocala right on; saw the whole schedule…hope they having fans in the stands

  36. Cjaxx54 Says:

    Kneeling Akeem Spence?