The big talk of the offseason so far is (very) hypothetical question of Antonio Brown and/or Odell Beckham Jr. being traded to the 49ers. Both come with their pros and cons. Brown would be the cheaper of the two, but his recent actions on social media make one wonder if he can keep it together in a locker room. Beckham could function best in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, but it won’t be cheap.
So who are the 49ers going to go after? Who’s the first choice? Well if you ask NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms, the 49ers go after both. . He was Matt Maiocco’s latest guest on the 49ers Insider Podcast and had a long, deep explanation comparing the two and who the 49ers would have more interest in overall:
I certainly would see the 49ers going after both really. First off, I do think Odell Beckham Jr. is the better player—and he’s younger. I would say Odell Beckham Jr. hasn’t reached the prime of his career yet. So that’s where he’s at in the player window and that’s special. Add in the fact that the contract situation is figured out. The Giants have paid a decent amount of the guaranteed money already. That would be favorable for any team trying to trade for Odell Beckham Jr. I might be a bit of a homer with Odell Beckham Jr., but I argue this all the time. Odell Beckham Jr. is as talented of a receiver I’ve ever seen in the NFL. I truly believe that if his head stays on straight and he’s healthy, that he can go down as the greatest receiver of all time. He has that type of special talent to me. He fits in any offense because he’s special talent.
And that’s the same for Antonio Brown. He’s special as well. But I would say buyer beware with Antonio Brown. That’s the first thing I would say. You mentioned the younger part. Certainly that. Antonio Brown is either 31 or about to turn 31 he’s right about in that range. I will say in my own personal opinion, I watch a lot of film and break down teams and games and players. I thought Antonio Brown did lose a step a little bit this year. Not to say he’s not great, he’s still great, but he’s not the guy we saw three and four years ago. And this is the age when receivers start to lose explosiveness and speed a little bit. Add into—you saw the Instagram video Antonio Brown made Tuesday night—he wants more guaranteed money. So you gotta deal with that. When we talk about Mike Tomlin, all we talk about is his lack of institutional control with the Pittsburgh steelers and it’s really all because of one person. And that’s Antonio Brown. So that’s where I say buyer beware about dealing with Antonio Brown. I really like the guy, but for some reason Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown get lumped together as, they’re the same with off-the-field problems. And this is something that really pisses me off for lack of a better phrase. The worst thing Odell Beckham Jr. did was go to Miami and hang out on a boat on his day off. And Antonio Brown, we could have three graphic pages he’s done wrong, legal, illegal, unwritten rules in the locker room, missing team meetings, late for meetings. Instagram videos, Instagram live in the locker room, legal troubles off the field, going AWOL this year. It bothers me when they get lumped together like that. I don’t get that part of it, I’m not saying either one of them is a choir boy, or Odell Beckham Jr. is a choir boy, I get that, but I think Antonio Brown comes with a whole lot of baggage than Odell Beckham Jr.
Simms is on in just about everything as far as comparing the two, well except one thing. That little part about OBJ having a chance to be the greatest receiver ever. That’s not happening. OBJ is good, but there’s the GOAT Jerry Rice.
To be fair, when comparing both of their first five years in the league, OBJ is roughly 1,000 receiving yards behind Rice—and he [Beckham] played in less games. On the other hand, Beckham’s 44 receiving touchdowns are behind Rice’s 66. Remember, there was a season where Rice caught 22 touchdowns (good lord).
Regardless about that argument. The 49ers might have some decisions to make about one of these wide receivers quite soon.
The podcast is time stamped below. You can listen to it using the widget above. If it does not appear, click here.
00:56 - What he’ll be doing at NBC Sports Bay Area
02:21 - What he knows of Kyle Shanahan
04:07 - Shanahan’s performance in the Texas offense
06:25 - Shanahan’s football knowledge
07:42 - Where Shanahan can get better
10:10 - Redzone issues
12:40 - 49ers going after Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr.?
16:22 - Kyle Shanahan’s thoughts on overpaying for free agents
18:14 - Le’Veon Bell vs. Jerick McKinnon
19:09 - 49ers’ draft plans/thoughts on the defense
20:41 - Nick Bosa/Josh Allen too simple?
22:07 - The “49ers laid down like dogs” quote.