Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Will the 49ers sign Odell Beckham, Jr.? Where will Jason Verrett play? And other mailbag questions answered

Marc Adams
Nov 2, 2022 at 8:00 AM--

Every week during the season, we do a 49ers mailbag here at 49ers Webzone. It's always fun to interact with fans of the team, answer your questions and read what's on your mind. The tone after a win is much different than the tone after a loss. That's to be expected.

Last week, there was much disdain, and dozens of fans calling for Kyle Shanahan's head on a platter. This week, everyone seems happier, more hopeful, and excited about how Shanahan's offense looked on Sunday.

So let's get to the mailbag and respond to some of the more lighthearted questions.

Adam Schefter just mentioned not too long ago that we were interested in OBJ last year and that we should consider adding him... what are your thoughts on the chances of adding OBJ and do you see us signing an interior lineman like an Ndamukong Suh to help bolster our DLine for the second half run? - Johnny Y.

As Johnny mentioned, NFL Insider Adam Schefter suggested the 49ers should consider adding Odell Beckham, Jr., the free-agent wide receiver who last season helped the Rams win a Super Bowl. He is, of course, recovering from a knee injury that took place in that Super Bowl. He remains unsigned.

Until Sunday, many assumed Beckham, Jr. would return to the Rams. But the Rams' chances of making the playoffs took a big hit with their loss to the 49ers. So would they want to bring him back? Would he want to return to a team that may have very little chance of making the postseason?

Enter the 49ers. As we saw on Sunday, the 49ers could use Beckham. They were playing without Deebo Samuel and Jauan Jennings. Adding Beckham to the mix could give the 49ers yet another weapon, making a scary offense even more deadly.

The biggest questions I would have about signing OBJ:

  1. Where would Beckham end up on the depth chart? Would he automatically move ahead of Jennings and be the number three receiver? I think he would certainly move ahead of Ray-Ray McCloud. When it comes to targets, how many could Beckham realistically expect? He would (at a minimum) be behind Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, and Christian McCaffrey.
  2. How healthy will Beckham be? This is really my only concern. If he's healthy, I would love to see the 49ers add him to the mix and I think they have a good shot of signing him if they decide to pursue it. Now, if a team like Kansas City or Buffalo decides to woo him, the 49ers would likely lose out.

Shanahan seems interested—or has at least kept the door open—when asked about the receiver. "We're open to discussions with everybody. We look into everything," Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area. "You don't have to worry about the trade deadline with him because he's out there and he's available. I've always been a fan of Odell, like I feel like most people are. He's that good of a player."

"But I'm definitely very happy with our receiver group right now and love the receivers that we have."

As far as Ndamukong Suh, it wouldn't surprise me to see the team add another defensive lineman. And he's probably the only one out there who could make an impact.

Would I like to see the 49ers add Beckham and Suh? Yes. Do I believe they will add one or both? No. But I also didn't think they'd actually trade for McCaffrey. So I'm clearly wrong on occasion. But don't tell anyone.

If Verrett is back to full health, what's the plan with Jimmie Ward? Is he nickel going forward or is Lenoir? If Lenoir, does he compete for free safety with Gipson? - Zach M.

If Jason Verrett returns and is fully healthy, I would expect him to compete for the cornerback position opposite Charvarius Ward. While Verrett is capable of playing nickel corner, I don't think that's where he's at his best.

The nickel position is a hard one to figure out. I'm sure DeMeco Ryans has spent plenty of time considering who is the best option. Jimmie Ward is a better safety than nickel corner. But he can play nickel as well as anyone else on the team. Tashaun Gipson isn't going to move there.

What I am pretty certain of is that Deommodore Lenoir won't be competing for free safety. He's a corner, and he looks like he has a chance to be a good one. If Gipson keeps playing well at free safety, I think the 49ers will keep him there, as well as keep Jimmie Ward at nickel. That gets their best players all on the field together. Gipson has played too well to go to the bench, and Ward is way too good to not be on the field.

However, you could make the case that they're better off with Ward at free safety and Lenoir at nickel. With that said, I think they'll leave things as they are for now. But if the secondary starts struggling, they may very well shake things up.

Why can't the Niners win the big games? Super Bowl vs Chiefs, NFC championship vs Rams? - JT

The 49ers just haven't made the plays they needed to make in those games. They've missed opportunities, given up sacks, blown coverages, committed bad penalties, you name it.

I've also written before about the playcalling in those two games, specifically the 4th quarter, when they were nursing a 10-point lead. Shanahan needs to use his best players, and his best plays, down the stretch in games like these.

Consider this: In Super Bowl LIV, Raheem Mostert, the team's best offensive weapon in the 2019 postseason, touched the ball only four times in the 4th quarter. Kittle touched the ball once in the 4th quarter. Samuel, who might have been named Super Bowl MVP if the 49ers held on, did not touch the ball at all in the final quarter.

In the 2021 NFC Championship Game, Samuel, the 49ers' best player, only touched the ball once. Kittle had zero touches.

Not only that, but in both games, the creativity of the playcalling was missing in those 4th quarters. We've talked about that recently, as well. On Sunday, though, Shanahan stayed creative and aggressive throughout the game. Was that the McCaffrey factor? Or is he changing?

I would start right there. The 49ers need to learn how to put teams away in the 4th quarter. They did that on Sunday. Let's hope they can do the same moving forward, as well.

What are you going to do with your time on the bye week? - Niner Jim

My plan is to sit down for a few minutes and solve the world's problems. Expect to hear good news like a cure for cancer, world peace, the lowering of gas prices, the banning of that annoying 1-877-KARS-4-KIDS jingle, and more.

I don't need an off week as these NFL players do. My body feels great, and I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm always ready when my number gets called, and want to do whatever the team needs me to do. My agent wants me to hold out until 49ers Webzone starts paying me more, but I can't do that to my guys during the season. That will come in the offseason.

Other than that, I'll probably mow my lawn and get my hair cut.

Niners seem to be "all in." Would it make some sense if they traded a late-round pick for an experienced backup? I know Matt Ryan is banged, up but flipping a 6th or 7th-round pick for him could keep the season afloat. Brock Purdy would almost certainly be the end of playoff hopes. - Gabe T.

I'm just not sure who they would get. Matt Ryan is not good. He would probably be an upgrade over Brock Purdy, but I'm not even certain of that. He's turned the ball over a lot. Any rookie can do that.

If Garoppolo goes down for any extended amount of time, the season is likely over. I think I'd rather see what Purdy can do. If I thought Ryan, or any other veteran could save the season, I would prefer that. I'm just not sure who the 49ers could get that would be much better than the rookie.

Regardless, the trade deadline has passed, and the 49ers did not trade for any other players (although they did trade Jeff Wilson, Jr. to the Miami Dolphins for a 2023 5th-round pick). Light a candle and say a prayer for Garoppolo to stay healthy.

Question- how does Jimmy G get a good shave with the chin line on that guy? - Rhonda L.

Rhonda, we've all been wondering the same thing. He probably has a special razor, customized just for him. So far, he's been very tight-lipped about this, holding his cards close to the vest. But I'll keep pressing for an answer, or even just a hint. It could save someone's life.

I've also noticed that sometimes he prefers the five o'clock shadow look. That's my go-to. It makes me feel more rugged. I don't have the Garoppolo jawline, but most people say it's my eyes and my smile that casts a spell over them.

That's all I have for this week. Thanks again for your amazing questions. The 49ers are off next week, but we'll still do a mailbag. We don't need bye weeks!
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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