The 49ers have traded linebacker Eli Harold to the Lions in exchange for Detroit’s conditional seventh-round pick in 2020, according to NFL Network, citing an unidentified league source.
Harold, a third-round pick in the 2015 draft out of Virginia, is heading to Detroit after spending three seasons in San Francisco. The 24-year-old started 10 games for the 49ers last season and played in all 48 games since joining the 49ers in 2015.
Harold projects as the backup to Devon Kennard at the strong-side linebacker position, according to the Detroit Free Press.
According to The Athletic, this move means Dekoda Watson will likely become the starter at outside linebacker for the 49ers and Pita Taumoepenu will serve as the backup.
Trading Eli Harold makes Dekoda Watson the de facto starter at outside linebacker for San Francisco and means that Pita Taumoepenu is the backup. #49ers #Lions https://t.co/k0uvqnNQM6
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) August 23, 2018
With Harold leaving San Francisco, all three 49ers (including safety Eric Reid) who initially joined Colin Kaepernick and knelt during the national anthem in protest of social injustice are no longer with the team.