Jim Harbaugh was roughly 20 minutes late to his pressure with the media Tuesday afternoon, less than an hour before the NFL's trading deadline. Presumably, he was with the front office conducting the final stages of due diligence.
But the 49ers elected not to make a move to improve the team with players outside the organization despite having 13 draft picks in next spring's draft to work with.
"Nothing to report," Harbaugh said on the trade front.
Instead of acquiring a player via trade, the 49ers are expecting six players to join the 53-man roster over the coming weeks. At receiver - their greatest position of need - Mario Manningham is expected to be activated in time for the game against the Carolina Panthers following the bye week.
Michael Crabtree's return is further off, which is expected to come in mid-to-late November. The 49ers play the Saints (Nov. 17), Redskins (Nov. 25), the Rams (Dec. 1) and the Seahawks (Dec. 8).
"Not making any proclamations or any profound statements, but he’s right on track," Harbaugh said about 2012's top wideout. "At some point here, weeks.”
Manningham has practiced with the team since he became eligible following Week 6's 32-20 win over the Cardinals and must be added to the roster at or before Nov. 5.
Prior to the team's 11-day trip to Tennessee and London, Harbaugh said Manningham has looked "very good" in practice and said his return is "going to be soon."
The Cleveland Browns were reportedly shopping wideout Josh Gordon, who was suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The second-year player is on pace for a 1,000-yard season despite the suspension and Cleveland's struggles at quarterback. Gordon is averaging over 18 yards per reception.
Gordon and the 49ers seemed like a natural fit considering the team's lack of production from the position outside of Anquan Boldin. Colin Kaepernick has a 20.83 QB rating when targeting Kyle Williams, Jon Baldwin, Marlon Moore and Quinton Patton.
Gordon recently told the media in Cleveland that one more failed drug test would result in a year-long suspension. His suspension was reportedly for codeine use.
San Francisco is 31st in the NFL averaging 189.9 passing yards per game. Boldin has been targeted 59 times while the other four receivers have been targeted 36 times combined. Thanks to the league's top running game and knack for converting turnovers to points, San Francisco is sixth in the league in scoring.
While those numbers indicate the team is struggling in the passing game, the 49ers have reeled off five-straight double-digit wins for the first time since 1995, when Steve Young was at quarterback. They are currently sixth in the league averaging nearly eight yards per pass.
The Browns were reportedly looking for a second-round pick in return for Gordon, but did not find any trade partners.
There were also reports linking the 49ers to Giants' wideout Hakeem Nix, but the asking price was very high for the 25-year-old former first-round pick.
The NFL Network reported the 49ers were willing to part ways with running back Anthony Dixon, who has seen more time on special teams than on offense.
Likely asking for a late-round selection, teams were unwilling to give San Francisco that price because of Dixon's pending free agency following the season. While a seventh rounder isn't exactly a steep cost, it would be unwise to give away four years of a player's services for half a season of Dixon's.
With Manningham, Crabtree, Eric Wright and Nick Moody due to join the roster in the coming weeks, San Francisco must clear room on the 53-man roster. Trading Dixon, or any other reserve player, would have opened a roster spot for the wave of newcomers.
*Statistics from Pro Football Focus were used in this report*
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