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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


49ers Must Trade for Odell Beckham Jr. Right Now

Gilbert Brink
Sep 15, 2020 at 9:26 AM


Odell Beckham Jr. is a toxic person.

At one time, OBJ seemed to be on track to be an elite wide receiver who was carving out a Hall of Fame career with each spectacular grab he made. It is no longer that time. 2019 was littered with headlines related to Odell seeking employment elsewhere. As a New York Giant, Odell was disgruntled about his money. The Giants gave Odell a fat contract, only to have him show up on ESPN, accompanied by Lil Wayne, to criticize the Giants coaching staff and quarterback.

The Giants shipped Odell off to Cleveland in 2019, where he disappointed on the field and made the wrong headlines off the field. Through his seven-year career, it is evident that OBJ is a supremely talented, yet incredibly flawed player who exhibits narcissistic tendencies just as much as he exhibits play-making abilities. OBJ is a self-consumed, individualistic, and immature waste of talent who 49ers GM John Lynch must get into his locker room as soon as possible.

The 49ers are in a bad spot early into their 2020 campaign. They have a superstar wide receiver on their roster, but he is out with a foot injury until, at the earliest, Week 4. Second-year WR Deebo Samuel was set to take off in 2020, but after suffering a Jones fracture foot injury in the off-season, his availability going forward is highly questionable.

Regarding Samuel's status, head coach Kyle Shanahan said that the soreness in his receiver's foot "never got better. It just got worse and worse after one specific day. ... But when that got worse each day and not better, we knew it ended up being a little bit of a setback. That's why we ended up putting him on IR."

The 49ers know too much about the Jones fracture injury. It is one for which Trent Taylor needed five surgeries in 2019, keeping him out of action for the entire season. Samuel looked to be one of the 49ers' top weapons heading into 2020. Now, there are legitimate concerns about when he'll even take the field.

While Deebo Samuel was watching from the sidelines in training camp, rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk was flashing excellence all over the field. Kyle Shanahan fell in love with Aiyuk leading up to the draft and was nothing short of elated to obtain him with the 25th overall selection. Long-time 49ers beat writer Matt Maiocco has gone on record saying that Aiyuk had the best training camp of any rookie WR he has ever covered. That is high praise from such a respected journalist. If Aiyuk is as good as advertised, his return will lift the 49ers' passing game in a significant way.

Shanahan hopes to have Aiyuk back for this Sunday's game against the New York Jets, but he is returning from a hamstring injury, and those types of injuries can be notoriously difficult. Hamstring injuries can become easily aggravated and linger for months on end. If that wasn't enough bad news on the injury front, franchise cornerstone TE George Kittle suffered a sprained knee in the loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Those are the 49ers' three top receiving options, and they're all clouded by health concerns.

The story of Odell Beckham Jr. is a familiar one to any NFL fan. Star wide receiver, incredibly talented, and annually unhappy. No matter how gifted these guys are, they will bounce around the league until their declining talent makes them no longer worth the trouble. OBJ has spent one season and a game in Cleveland, and his tenure has been a complete failure. The Browns are building anew with rookie head coach Kevin Stefanski, and already the offensive woes have begun. The Browns got obliterated by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1 to the tune of 38-6. During this rout, OBJ was force-fed the ball 10 times and only accounted for 22 yards. For a first-year head coach, OBJ has already become a distraction.

Building a new team may cause Stefanski to want to trim the fat and create the Browns in his image. His main job will be to rehabilitate QB Baker Mayfield into the promising player he was in 2018. In his rookie season, sans OBJ, Mayfield posted a 93.7 QB rating and looked like the Browns' savior. In 2019, with OBJ on the Browns, Mayfield's QB rating dropped to an embarrassing 15 pts to a 78.8. With Odell catching balls for the Browns, Mayfield looked a lot more like former Browns bust QB Johnny Manziel. The stage is set for an OBJ exodus out of Brown town.

Now is the time for the 49ers to swoop in for the troubled star. At one point, the 49ers strongly pursued OBJ, but the Browns beat the 49ers to the punch. The interest was there, but the 49ers didn't want to send the No. 2 overall pick to the Giants (thank you for that, we 49ers fans enjoy DE Nick Bosa). The Giants demanded a bountiful haul for OBJ. After a failed 2019, heading to his 28th birthday in November, OBJ simply doesn't carry that value anymore. The 49ers have a pick in every round but the 3rd in next year's draft. If the Browns will take a 2nd and a late-round selection, the 49ers would be fools not to bite on the deal.

In joining the 49ers, Beckham would finally get what he wanted (until he finds something new to want) by joining a winning organization with a shot at the Super Bowl. In 1994, the 49ers had to make a similar move. In need of finding the missing link to a Super Bowl championship, the 49ers signed CB Deion Sanders in the offseason. He was never a fan-favorite, I rooted for Eric Davis and Merton Hanks over Sanders on every occasion, but he was a necessary evil. At times, a team is so close to glory that it may have to compromise its values and future for the pot of gold sitting at the front door. If any team can handle OBJ, it's the San Francisco 49ers. QB Jimmy Garoppolo is the unquestioned leader, and players like TE George Kittle and LT Trent Williams will surely prevent the OBJ sideshow from setting up a tent in Santa Clara, CA.

Listen up, Lynch: the time is now. The opportunity to compete for a championship isn't guaranteed, and everything you do from here on out will either bring the 49ers closer to the championship or move them further away. A few weeks ago, the 49ers restructured DE Dee Ford's contract to give them some space to make moves in the 2020 season. This is the move that must be made. Roll the dice, take the chance, and bring Beckham to The Bay.
The views 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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