ESPN is back with another list to get the masses stirred up. This time, ESPN put together the seven biggest whiffs of the NFL offseason. The list includes Anthony Barr turning down the New York Jets, the New York Giants not getting an immediate return for Landon Collins, Russell Wilson and his contract with the Seattle Seahawks, Josh Rosen and the Arizona Cardinals debacle, and a couple of other moves.
The one we are going to talk about is the San Francisco 49ers missing out on Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown. Both have a proven track record and are two of the top 10 receivers in football. We have hit this topic pretty hard over the last couple of months, so there’s not much new to say on my end. I would have traded any non No. 2 pick to Giants. I’m not sure I would have traded for Brown.
Here’s what ESPN had to say:
Fifty-two wide receivers caught more passes last season than the 49ers’ team leader (Kendrick Bourne, 42). In a draft class that lacked a dominant blue-chip player at the position, two of the league’s top veteran playmakers were available via trade. But the 49ers’ offer for OBJ fell short, and they decided not to pursue Brown.
Instead, they signed veteran Jordan Matthews, and then drafted Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd in the second and third rounds, respectively. Had they closed the Beckham deal, the 49ers would have had an elite receiver in place for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s return from a torn ACL, making a strong duo as the franchise tries to elevate past 22 losses in the first 32 games of the John Lynch/Kyle Shanahan era.
What happens now: Beckham landed in what is arguably a better spot, playing alongside receiver Jarvis Landry and with quarterback Baker Mayfield in a Cleveland Browns scheme that was electric in the second half of last season. Brown found a team that wanted him -- the Oakland Raiders -- and a new contract as well.
From what we know, the 49ers offer wasn’t short. We do know that New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman isn’t the best negotiator in the world and just dropped the ball.
Beckham Jr. is better than the combination of Samuel/Matthews/Hurd. The question becomes what the team hypothetically would have given up in the deal, and what an alternate draft would look like.
I strongly disagree that the Browns are a better landing spot than the 49ers. Freddie Kitchens was great when he took over last year. Kitchens isn’t on Shanahan’s level. That’s not a slight to Kitchens. Not many people are as creative as Shanahan. I will take Dante Pettis over Jarvis Landry every day of the week, too.
Missing out on Brown isn’t a loss and paying a 33-year old wide receiver $17 million with his antics? No thanks.