Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Potential 49ers upgrade? Odell Beckham Jr. clears waivers, is a free agent

Nov 9, 2021 at 2:10 PM--

If the San Francisco 49ers want former Cleveland Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr., they are free to pursue him. Of course, they will have to compete with every other team interested in the three-time Pro Bowl receiver. Beckham is a free agent after clearing waivers.

San Francisco was never going to put in a waiver claim on Beckham. That would have required the team paying out the remaining $7.25 million of his salary for this season.

"Yeah, for that reason, we won't be able to put in a claim on him, just for the financial reasons," head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday.

The 49ers are 3-5 and are in desperate need of some help. However, the wide receiver position may be the least of their worries. The team's leading receiver, Deebo Samuel, is on pace for 1,874 receiving yards this season. Tight end George Kittle is back from injured reserve and put in a 101-yard performance during Sunday's 31-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals that included his first receiving touchdown in over a year. Second-year wideout Brandon Aiyuk appears to be emerging out of his sophomore-season slump.

Still, the 49ers expressed interest in Beckham before. They tried to trade for him in 2019 but couldn't agree on compensation with the New York Giants. So the Giants traded Beckham to the Browns instead.

"We definitely looked into the Odell thing," Shanahan said in April of 2019. "John had been working on that for a few months, trying to see if something could happen. I just didn't think we had the stuff that [the Giants] wanted. It didn't work out."

Could Beckham help the 49ers' chances of winning more games this season? Maybe. Can he single-handedly turn things around for the struggling franchise? Probably not. He certainly can't help with the team's defensive woes unless the plan is to keep the defense off the field by improving the offense.

We'll see if the 49ers emerge as one of the teams that pursue Beckham. The veteran receiver will have options.

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