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Golden Nuggets: Should the 49ers reach out to Antonio Brown?

NFL insider Brian Baldinger says GM John Lynch should at least make a call to the troubled wideout.

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Matt Sanoian/Bleacher Report

We got some depressing news about the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffered a Jones fracture while working out with teammates in Nashville, and is expected to miss some time in the regular season.

This is a huge blow for the Niners. Samuel had a very good rookie season, finishing with 57 receptions for 802 yards and three touchdowns in 2019. He is the clearcut No. 1 receiver, so either the 49ers will have to look within for another receiver to step up, or bring in a new option for head coach Kyle Shanahan.

NFL insider Brian Baldinger joined 95.7 The Game to discuss Samuel’s injury, and suggested general manager John Lynch reaches out to Antonio Brown (h/t Sam Marsdale of 247Sports):

“Well, he’s been working out with Deion Sanders this whole offseason, and he hasn’t been on Twitter, hasn’t been on social media. He’s been quietly working out with Deion, Deion’s son is working out with Tom Brady. There’s past there. There’s no question he wants to come back and play. His debut in Oakland was a disaster. Would it be different under Kyle Shanahan, Jimmy Garoppolo and John Lynch? Would he be a professional? Would he be a team-player? I would at least make the phone call. He was the league’s best receiver before he collapsed and fell out of favor. I would make the phone call, and then, you gotta decide.”

There is no doubt about Brown’s talent, but his immaturity is the issue. Would Lynch want to bring a potentially disruptive Brown into a close-knit locker room?

Brown turns 32 next month, and only played in one game last season, which was with the New England Patriots, before being released following a sexual assault accusation.

On the field, Brown is one of the best wideouts to ever play the game. He has 843 receptions for more than 11,000 yards, and 75 touchdowns over his 10-year career. Things started going off the rails last offseason while Brown was still with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He was eventually dealt to the Oakland Raiders, but never suited up for the team. The Raiders eventually released Brown before the start of the 2019 season after he had numerous outbursts while practicing with the team, and on his social media accounts.

This isn’t the first time Brown has been mentioned as a potential fit on the 49ers. When he was released by Oakland last year, some Niners reached out on Twitter:

I think Lynch should at the very least do his due diligence on this. San Francisco was already a little thin at the receiver position —and as we saw with Trent Taylor last season— we don’t know how Samuel will recover from the Jones fracture.

If Brown has put his issues behind him, and concentrates on football, he would be a great fit on this team. Again, the big question is if he can stay out of trouble, and not be a disruptive force in the locker room.

How do you feel about Baldinger’s suggestion that Lynch should reach out to Brown?

The 49ers could look at bringing in a veteran receiver to help bolster the group with Samuel out. NBC Bay Area’s Scott Blair looks at which free agents which are available for the Niners to potentially sign.

Samuel’s injury takes away from the happiness many of us felt that Shanahan was given a six-year extension. The SF Chronicle’s Ann Killion says signing Shanny was a sign that the franchise had learned from its past mistakes.

If San Francisco elects not to bring in someone from the outside, it will have to rely on one of its current receivers. Fansided’s Peter Panacy says these three receivers need to step up in Samuel’s absence.

The 49ers will have to be careful with Samuel’s injury. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport explains why the Jones fracture is a tricky thing to deal with. (h/t 49ers Web Zone’s David Bonilla)

And if you needed a laugh, Fansided’s Bret Stuter looks at if Samuel’s injury could open the door for the L.A. Rams.

From around the NFL:

We don’t know if the NFL season will start on time, but it’s never too early to begin preparing for your fantasy football draft. The Athletic officially released its fantasy football draft kit.