A year after Odell Beckham Jr. was traded by a team that insisted it was not interested in trading him, the star wide receiver popped up in trade rumors again a few months ago. While Beckham remains on the Browns, standing in Cleveland may not be too far from where it was in New York circa 2019.
The 49ers engaged in discussions with the Giants for Beckham last year, but things worked out pretty well for them despite OBJ being dealt to Cleveland. Although Emmanuel Sanders‘ defection to New Orleans leaves San Francisco again in need at wideout, Jay Glazer of The Athletic notes the 49ers will not pursue Beckham this offseason (subscription required).
While the 49ers indeed “loved” Beckham last year, Glazer adds that the team is now trying to add draft capital rather than trade it for veterans. San Francisco did this upon trading DeForest Buckner to Indianapolis, and the first-rounder acquired (No. 13 overall) could well be used on a wide receiver.
It became clear early last season that Jimmy Garoppolo needed more help, so the 49ers added Sanders. They had wanted to retain him but did not bid higher than the Saints’ two-year, $16M offer. The 49ers will almost certainly add a receiver with one of their early-round picks to join their Deebo Samuel-led corps. San Francisco has used consecutive second-round picks on wideouts, with Samuel following 2018 acquisition Dante Pettis. The 49ers have not used a first-round pick on a receiver since their disappointing A.J. Jenkins selection in 2012.
Beckham and Baker Mayfield struggled to stay on the same page during Freddie Kitchens‘ one-and-done season. The Giants eating all the dead money in dealing Beckham to the Browns would make the 27-year-old talent an interesting trade chip, and OBJ surfaced in trade rumors late last season. While the three-time Pro Bowler’s long-term status in Cleveland probably isn’t stable, he remains in the Browns’ 2020 plans for the time being.
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