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Chip Kelly: We need Joe Staley to stay with 49ers

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The Cleveland Browns aren't the only team issuing denials that their star tackle is on the trade block.

Speaking to reporters Monday, San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly denied any knowledge that left tackle Joe Staley is available in advance of next week's trade deadline.

"No one's ever talked to me (or had) discussions with me about Joe being traded," Kelly said, via Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. "We need Joe here."

Whereas Kelly managed to wrest personnel control from Howie Roseman in Philadelphia, he's fond of pointing out that he doesn't have final say over the 53-man roster in San Francisco.

"I'm not in charge of the overall roster," Kelly explained. "I'll give my weigh-in and weigh in where everybody is. But my point to that thing is we've never had a conversation about that, and we talk about everything on a daily basis. That's never come up."

Pro Football Talk reported Sunday night that Staley is available for the price of a first-round draft pick.

As the public face of the franchise, Kelly can maintain plausible deniability because he doesn't pull the roster strings. That doesn't mean, of course, that general manager Trent Baalke isn't leaking word that his five-time Pro Bowl tackle can be had for the right price.

Staley, 32, is under team control through 2019, with an $8.25 million salary due next season.

It would be a surprise if the rebuilding 49ers weren't willing to listen to offers from tackle-needy contenders such as the Vikings, Seahawks, Patriots, Cardinals and Giants.

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