San Francisco 49ers

Why the 49ers didn’t pull the trigger on trade for Odell Beckham Jr.

49ers’ most notable moves of the offseason

Chris Biderman breaks down the 49ers’ most notable moves of the NFL offseason
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Chris Biderman breaks down the 49ers’ most notable moves of the NFL offseason

The 49ers determined the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft was too steep a price for Odell Beckham Jr., general manager John Lynch confirmed Friday.

Lynch, speaking on KNBR radio in the Bay Area, confirmed San Francisco’s long-rumored interest in the Giants’ former star receiver, who was traded away to the Cleveland Browns earlier this month for two draft picks, including No. 17 overall next month and safety Jabrill Peppers.

“On Odell, we were very much in (trade discussions). We had been in it,” Lynch said. “And I think, ironically, that we have the number two pick made it more difficult, because they wanted that badly. They wanted two number ones and we weren’t willing to part with that. That’s too valuable of a pick. Even for a player of (Beckham’s) magnitude. So we tried to come up with creative different ways to get it done, and it didn’t work it out, so we had to move on.”

Beckham would have brought with him a five-year contract he signed last August with about $77 million remaining. Giants general manager Dave Gettleman earlier this month said he had “numerous conversations” with Lynch about trading away his top wideout despite signing him to a lucrative extension roughly eight months after he took the job.

“Frankly, we couldn’t come to an agreement so that died on the vine,” Gettleman said, according to NJ.com.

Picking second, the 49ers are widely expected to take one of the draft’s top defensive linemen, such as Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, Alabama’s Quinnen Williams or Kentucky’s Josh Allen. San Francisco had the league’s 28th-ranked scoring defense in 2018 and set a new NFL record for fewest takeaways (seven) and interceptions (two).

Draftees’ salaries are locked in as part of the collective bargaining agreement. The contract for the No. 2-overall selection is expected to be worth roughly $33.3 million, including $22.3 million in guarantees, over four seasons. Teams can exercise the fifth-year option for players during the spring before the fourth year of the deal.

The 49ers, who have about $37 million of cap space, are saving significantly by not bringing in Beckham, which could help them in future contract negotiations for important young players such as defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and tight end George Kittle, who could both receive big contract extensions over the next two seasons.

However, San Francisco has a sizable void at receiver after declining to bring back veteran Pierre Garçon for 2019. The 49ers signed journeyman Jordan Matthews, who has struggled since averaging 891 yards and over six touchdowns during his first three seasons, from 2014 to 2016.

Lynch remains confident in his current group of receivers, which includes Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin, Kendrick Bourne and Trent Taylor.

“I think we feel pretty good about our receiving corps,” Lynch said. “I know a lot of people don’t share our sentiments. That’s not to say we’re done there. We still have a lot of this offseason left. We have a draft left.”

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