The San Francisco 49ers were linked to star receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown earlier this offseason in trade rumors given their initial cap space and perceived need at the wideout position.
On Friday, 49ers GM John Lynch confirmed on KNBR-AM the team checked in on the price for Beckham, but with the New York Giants seeking the second overall pick in the draft, couldn’t come to an agreement.
“I think ironically the fact that we had the No. 2 pick made it more difficult because they wanted that badly,” Lynch said. “They wanted two No. 1s, and we weren’t willing to part with that. That’s too valuable of a pick even for a player of his magnitude. So, we tried to come up with creative different ways to get it down and it didn’t work out and you move on.”
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo noted that the 49ers might have been amenable to moving down from No. 2 to the Giants‘ No. 6 overall pick in exchange for Beckham, but the question would have been what else New York demanded at that point.
The Giants ended up shipping Beckham to Cleveland for the No. 17 overall pick, No. 95 overall pick (third round) and former first-round safety Jabrill Peppers. New York also folded in a swap pass rusher Olivier Vernon for guard Kevin Zeitler to the deal.
The No. 2 overall pick obviously has much more value than a pick in the teens. With the Giants looking to stockpile picks, a deal with the Niners likely became unrealistic from both perspectives.
As for Brown, at the NFL Scouting Combine Lynch noted he’d had no talks with Pittsburgh Steelers about acquiring the receiver. On Friday he doubled down that the Niners had no intent on bringing the talented but outspoken receiver to San Francisco.
“We took a quick look and then we just said, ‘Hey, we’re not interested in that for our team.’ That’s where we are,” he said. “I think we feel pretty good about our receiving corps. I know a lot of people don’t share our sentiments.”
Lynch’s receiving corps is currently highlighted by second-year player Dante Pettis, speedster Marquise Goodwin, free agent addition Jordan Matthews and slot receiver Trent Taylor. Discussions about adding Beckham belie the notion that the Niners weren’t looking to upgrade the position.
San Francisco could look to add a rookie wideout in the draft, but Lynch insists he likes the group in place and will trust coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to boost the current corps.