Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported the San Francisco 49ers could be interested in a possible trade for New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Does it make sense?
We’re one day into 2019, and the San Francisco 49ers have already been linked to Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, which got Niners fans excited after a disappointing 4-12 season in Santa Clara.
Now, it’s New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to San Francisco that’s firing up the rumor mill.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported New Year’s Day the Niners might be interested in a possible trade for the talented-yet-recently oft-injured receiver, writing, “If the Giants decide to move on from receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the 49ers could pursue him.”
It’s possible, too. The Giants, who finished 5-11 this year, might be looking at the reality of a long-term rebuild across the board, particularly after veteran quarterback Eli Manning quits. That might include parting ways with Beckham despite New York inking him to a five-year extension signed before the season began.
But Florio doesn’t think that contract would be difficult to move, saying:
"Beckham’s contract is very tradeable, with five years and $74 million remaining on the long-term deal signed last August. The Giants would have to absorb a $16 million cap charge (a post-June 1 trade would result in $4 million this year and $12 million in 2020), and they’d have to accept the fact that they will have paid him more than $21 million for 12 games in 2018."
The 49ers are projected to have over $66 million in cap space for 2019, not including 2018 rollover. So general manager John Lynch and Co. can definitely afford it. Plus, at 26 years old, Beckham is far younger a commodity than the 30-year-old Brown.
Last year, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora linked the Niners’ interest in Beckham, so that’s something to consider.
Now, the question: Would a trade for Beckham make sense?
On one hand, the 49ers lack a true impact wide receiver on offense. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has turned less-known receivers into modest stars (i.e. Marquise Goodwin in 2017), and the hope is 2018 rookie Dante Pettis emerges as that kind of player.
Both Goodwin and Pettis suffered multiple injuries last year, however, so Beckham’s recent injury history has to be considered as well. That said, Beckham is the kind of player opposing teams regularly scheme against. Right now, the only aerial threat the Niners have through the air is the first-time Pro Bowler, tight end George Kittle.
Compensation, meanwhile, would be high. It would likely involve a first-round NFL Draft pick, although not the No. 2 overall selection for this year. Or, at the lowest, a pretty lucrative draft package from Lynch.
Also worth noting is the 49ers have just five selections in this year’s draft.
Because of that, don’t bank on Beckham joining the red and gold this offseason. The talk of it is fun. And there’s always this from when the Giants visited the Niners earlier this season.
If anything, the notion San Francisco remains a hot destination for players this offseason despite the team’s finish is telling.