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Why Sporting News lists the 49ers as one of three reasonable trade destinations for Odell Beckham Jr.

Mar 29, 2018 at 11:09 AM--

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been part of several headlines this week. The three-time Pro Bowler said he wouldn't step on the field for the Giants without putting pen to paper on an expensive new contract.

The Giants have kind of said they have no intention of trading Beckham. They've also kind of not completely closed the door on the option of listening to offers for the receiver. That "kind of" status on the situation has led to a whole lot of speculation by the media with the Los Angeles Rams being a popular dream trade partner. After all, the Rams appear to be trading for or signing everyone they can get their hands on this offseason.

Even after some key offseason acquisitions, the San Francisco 49ers still have about $47 million in salary cap space, according to However, that's only part of the reason why the Sporting News recently listed the 49ers as one of only three reasonable destinations for Beckham. Neither of the other two was the Rams.

Writer Vinnie Iyer actually sees Los Angeles as one of the least-reasonable destinations for Beckham. His reasoning has a lot to do with the moves the Rams have already made. The offseason additions of cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib paired with the signing of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh makes adding yet another volatile personality to the locker room potentially dangerous.

Another reason is that the Rams might not want to add yet another player who is looking for a big contract. The team already has three-time First-team All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, running back Todd Gurley, and quarterback Jared Goff in the pipeline.

With the 49ers in possession of a healthy salary cap surplus, Iyer sees the potential addition of Beckham more as an investment in newly signed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

"Sure, the 49ers can get by and be productive (with Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin) under Kyle Shanahan, but Beckham would take things to a whole new level," wrote Iyer. "The Rams, as revived rivals at the top of the NFC West, have thrown down defensively this offseason. It's in the 49ers' growing interest to get Garoppolo all he needs to live up to the hype around him. And they can afford the splash on Beckham.

"Shanahan has said he doesn't need another Julio Jones-type for the 49ers, but Beckham, having thrived in the West Coast offense since he got to New York, would be spectacular in San Francisco. Like the Rams' Les Snead and the Browns' John Dorsey, John Lynch has proved he can be an aggressive general manager when needed. The 49ers are calculated even when working with a high cap number, and they can find ways to give Beckham an acceptable deal that's somewhat team-friendly."

Oh, and those other two teams on the list? They are the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts, who coincidentally are first and second respectively – right in front of the 49ers – when it comes to salary cap space, according to

The real question is what it would take for the Giants to consider parting with Beckham. The 49ers currently own the ninth-overall pick in next month's draft. Is that too much to spend on an emotional and potentially volatile player who is looking for a contract that pays him like an elite quarterback?

Then there is the report from Adam Schefter of ESPN stating that the Giants are not only looking for a first-round pick in exchange for Beckham, they are looking for two first-round picks. Of course, the team insists they are not "shopping" the receiver.

Our friend Chris Biderman over at Niners Wire recently examined if general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan would consider trading for Beckham and came to the conclusion that such a deal seems unlikely.

"Shanahan and John Lynch have emphasized character and locker room fit while adding players to their new-look roster since getting hired in February 2017," wrote Biderman. "It defined their approach to free agency earlier this month when they landed cornerback Richard Sherman, running back Jerick McKinnon and center Weston Richburg, who weren't known for off-the-field baggage on their previous teams."

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believes any Beckham-to-Rams chatter might force the 49ers (or another NFC West team) to consider throwing their hat into the ring.

"Faced with the Rams adding another major star player to the mix, why not evaluate whether Beckham would work well for the 49ers as a member of their team — and not as a member of the Rams?" wrote Florio.

Of course, all of this is only speculation at this point. Beckham, whether he intends to play without a new deal or not, is under contract with the Giants this season, and things could remain that way through 2019 and beyond should New York choose to utilize the franchise tag down the road.

Still, Beckham's career 313 receptions for 4,424 yards with 38 touchdowns have to be tempting for some NFL team.


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