The 49ers made a pair of trades to add wide receiver Rod Streater and send off safety L.J. McCray to division rival Seattle.
The 49ers acquired Streater and conditional 2019 seventh-round pick from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for the 49ers' conditional seventh-round pick, as long as the 49ers' pick comes before Kansas City's in that round. The trade is the second one the 49ers worked with Kansas City this week. The 49ers sent cornerback Kenneth Acker to the Chiefs for a seventh-round draft pick in 2018.
The 49ers traded McCray to the Seahawks for a conditional 2018 seventh-round draft pick. McCray is returning this season after missing last year with a torn ACL. Both Streater and McCray must pass physicals for the trades to become official. McCray was not going to make the 49ers' 53-man roster, so the 49ers sent him to Seattle to get something in return.
"I’m a big fan of L.J.," Kelly said. "I just think we had a lot of depth in our secondary. We also felt like he was going to get claimed in the waiver wire. Seattle really wanted him, so it was an opportunity for us to pick up a draft pick that could potentially turn into another player for us instead of outright releasing him."
Streater is the second wide receiver the 49ers added in seven days. The 49ers acquired slot receiver Jeremy Kerley in a trade with the Detroit Lions for offensive lineman Brandon Thomas.
Streater (6 foot 2, 195 pounds) originally entered the NFL in 2012 as an undrafted rookie with the Raiders. In four seasons with the Raiders, he appeared in 36 games with 19 starts and caught 109 passes for 1,564 yards and eight touchdowns. He signed with the Chiefs as a free agent in March.
The two trades for wide receivers was a matter of the 49ers' replacing expected contributors lost to season-ending injuries with veterans of similar skillsets. Kerley takes over for Bruce Ellington, who is out for the season with a torn hamstring. And the 49ers wanted a big receiver to replace Eric Rogers, who sustained a torn ACL during a practice early in training camp.
"Obviously, he’s a tall, long target," Kelly said of Streater. "We felt that’s what we had in Eric. He’s really an outside receiver for us. He has 109 catches in this league, so he’s proven he can play. He’s coming off a 60-catch season (in 2013 with the Raiders). I think it’s just his experience. We felt it was a big blow to us when we lost Eric in the preseason, so to get another outside receiver to complement Torrey Smith and Quinton Patton was a maneuver we had to make."
The 49ers waived wide receivers DeAndrew White, Dres Anderson, Devon Cajuste, Bryce Treggs and Ryan Whalen. The 49ers also waived/injured DeAndre Smelter, a fourth-round draft pick last year. Smelter missed most of the offseason program and all the exhibition games with a hamstring injury.
The 49ers kept just five receivers on their initial 53-man roster: Smith, Patton, Streater, Kerley and rookie Aaron Burbridge.