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Niners DC Fangio: Ahmad Brooks rumors 'out of line'

With mid-round rookies Chris Borland and Aaron Lynch exceeding expectations, the San Francisco 49ers will have a surfeit of linebackers when All-Pros Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman make their respective returns to the starting lineup.

Perhaps that's why the front office was gauging the trade value of Ahmad Brooks ahead of last week's deadline.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported over the weekend that the 49ers were shopping Brooks around the league, only to back out of a deal that would have sent the eight-year veteran to the Cleveland Browns for a draft pick.

If general manager Trent Baalke was dangling Brooks in trade talks, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was unaware of it.

"You know it was never mentioned to me before the trade deadline ended," Fangio said Tuesday on KNBR-AM, "and I would think that if there was any seriousness going on along those ways, that Trent would have mentioned it to me. And he never did, so I think those reports are way out of line."

We have no doubt Brooks' name was bandied about in trade talks. We may never know whether those discussions were casual or serious.

Several nucleus players, including Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Mike Iupati, have contracts that will need to be addressed next offseason. Now that young outside linebackers Lynch, Dan Skuta and Corey Lemonier have shown flashes of promise, the 49ers might reach the conclusion that Brooks' $6 million salary for 2015 is a luxury rather than a necessity.

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