Among the blind draft items in Peter King's latest Monday Morning Quarterback column was this nugget on the San Francisco 49ers: "They want to trade Anthony Davis and Antoine Bethea."
At first read, this is the kind of rumor that could send the Chip Kelly era sliding downhill before it really starts. Kelly notoriously sat in the driver's seat for the trading of LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles. He was in charge when the team cut DeSean Jackson and allowed Jeremy Maclin to escape in free agency. As many times as Kelly insisted he was not in charge of personnel, he could not escape the notion that he thought his scheme was above talented players.
Kelly is happy just being a football coach again. He does not have the same type of personnel, say, that he did at the tail end of his tenure in Philadelphia. And maybe this leads back to something between Davis and general manager Trent Baalke. If you believe Davis' Twitter account, the two probably didn't kick off Davis' comeback tour on the best of terms.
But the problem is perception.
No sane football mind would fault the 49ers for maximizing the assets on their roster in an effort to rebuild through the draft. If they can get something out of Bethea, who is 31 and coming off a torn pectoral injury, and Davis, who might or might not want to be there, then all the power to the 49ers. Will Kelly be vilified, though, if a trade goes down and they succeed elsewhere or if the team struggles at right tackle and safety? Will he be guilty by association?