Was the 49ers trade offer for Aaron Rodgers actually real or fake?

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It was easy to see as unbelievable at first glance, but was the 49ers trade offer for Aaron Rodgers real?

Thursday night will bring confirmation the San Francisco 49ers moved up from No. 12 to No. 3 overall in the draft to get a quarterback. Mac Jones, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, it doesn’t matter, they’ll get their replacement for Jimmy Garoppolo. Unless…

On Thursday morning, Bill Michaels of The Big Show Network in Wisconsin reported the 49ers made a trade offer to the Packers for Aaron Rodgers. The attribution to Paul Allen of KFAN radio in Minneapolis, the Vikings’ play-by-play guy on that station, should be noted. Ahead of the first night of the draft, with this week being peak misinformation season, it was easy to shrug off such a thing as reckless speculation with no substance.

Michaels added the offer of the No. 3 pick and Garoppolo, plus other picks and players, was “confirmed by others.” And the Packers turned it down.

Was the 49ers trade offer for Aaron Rodgers real?

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk apparently reached out to some sources, looking for whether the 49ers made an offer for Rodgers or not.

As we hear it, the offer was made — and rejected — last night.

A source with knowledge of the situation, however, calls the report absolutely untrue, adding that not a single call has been received on Rodgers. (It previously was reported that the Rams made a run at trading for Rodgers before trading for Matthew Stafford; the Packers denied that, too.) At least one other person in position to have knowledge regarding the situation also has denied that the 49ers tried to get Rodgers, but without going on the record.

The “one other person” Florio mentioned is easy to out as having a vested interest in denying the 49ers tried to get Rodgers, in recent days or Wednesday night. So that hardly means it didn’t happen. The easy tentacle to that is making sure trade rumors around Garoppolo are credibly dismissed heading into the draft.

Did the 49ers make a trade offer for Rodgers sometime this offseason? That is unknown, but getting the third overall pick put them in position to make a sweet offer before the draft. So it’s incredibly possible they made that offer Wednesday night, and after it was rejected they’ll just replace Garoppolo with their favorite quarterback prospect at No. 3.