Sakamoto: Why 49ers’ DE Tank Carradine May Be Released Or Traded

When the San Francisco 49ers drafted DE Tank Carradine in the second-round (No. 40) of the 2013 NFL Draft, it was considered a draft day steal by many NFL analysts. A player whose draft stock plummeted due to a torn ACL in November 2012, Carradine fell to the 49ers and as a result was supposed to be the eventual successor to DE Justin Smith.

Fast forward to present day and you can see that hasn’t been the case.

In 14 career games, Carradine has recorded 29 tackles and 4.0 sacks. A true pass-rush specialist who excels in the team’s nickel package, it remains to be seen why Carradine isn’t being used more often, as they face pass-happy teams.

And while he played 46.1 percent of the team’s defensive snaps against the Arizona Cardinals — it appears he may be on the outside looking in, as that number dramatically dipped to 25.3 percent against the Green Bay Packers and 12.7 percent last week against the New York Giants, according to Pro Football Focus.

So the question remains, where does Carradine fit in with the team? With 49ers GM Trent Baalke heavily invested in 2015 first-round pick (No. 17) DE Arik Armstead, look for the team to try and possibly trade the Florida State product before the NFL trading deadline, as I’m hearing that Carradine may have fallen out of favor with the team.

Earlier this year, I broke news that ILB Nick Moody would sign with the Seattle Seahawks, who coincidentally played at Florida State while also being part of the 2013 draft class. If Carradine is either released or traded, he would become the sixth 2013 draft pick to no longer be with the team, as others such as RB Marcus Lattimore (retirement), QB B.J. Daniels, T Carter Bykowski, and CB Marcus Cooper have all left before him.

And with the team looking to activate both C Daniel Kilgore off the PUP list (Physically Unable to Perform) and WR Jerome Simpson from the Reserved/Suspended list, Carradine may be the odd man out, as they make room for those two players on the team’s active roster.

With the 49ers continuing to shake up their roster, don’t be surprised if Carradine is released or traded, as the team may go in another direction sooner rather than later.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.