They lost Dorsey on Friday with a torn biceps (probably, but not definitely, out for the season).
Next guy up, Ian Williams, is a walking injury report (Rotoworld says he's had 4 ankle surgeries since week 2 last season, when he broke it in his only NFL start, and is presently on the active/PUP list).
We've got some depth behind Harrison with trade value, namely Ellis, who's a UFA next season anyway. But specifically at NT the next guy up would be the practice squad kid Barnes. He's freaking enormous, but that hardly means he can play. I doubt he has much trade value, but Ellis would garner a pick. What level pick I have no idea, but we wouldn't get back the 3rd we used to draft him in the first place. If I had a gun to my head I'd guess his value is a 5th, maybe a 6th.
What's more valuable to the team in 2014? A 2015 later pick or one more year of Ellis backing up Harrison? Given how easily guys this size can get injured (not to mention tired), and knowing nothing about Barnes, I'd probably say keep Ellis. But if Dorsey is clearly gone for the season it could have a major impact on their entire defense. In a situation like that, since they're true SB contenders (certainly they'd feel that way), what if they did offer up a 4th or even a 3rd to keep those hopes realistic ? Keep in mind they'll most likely have a bottom-6 pick in any round.
Hard to say. If they could get a 4th (certainly a 3rd) I'd have to say ship him off. If he wasn't on the team right now and we had a pair of 4th rounders, how many here would advocate trading one of them away for Ellis to back up Harrison for a year, after which time he hits free agency? A lot of people weren't that thrilled when we traded a 4th for Ivory, and he was picked up to be a 200-300 touch/year starter for the next 3 seasons.
5th rounder as a top offer? A close call; I think it would still be best to keep him and gamble we could re-sign Ellis if there isn't a bidding war for him to start elsewhere. 6th or later I'd say keep him for sure, again since we're talking about a late 6th. If we really value a late 6th rounder that much then trade down 3-4 slots in the 3rd round next April and hang onto Ellis for this season. A late 6th is just too easy to recoup.
Anyone think SF might have an interest? They did draft a NT in the 5th last year but he's surely not as talented/good as Ellis, doesn't have a "true" NT's body/build, and was on & off the PS last season. Presently he's only at the top of their depth chart due to 2 other guys being injured.
Anyway it was just at thought.