San Francisco 49ers could and should upgrade WR corps in a big way


The San Francisco 49ers are sitting in a very good position and have a chance to get even better – an opportunity they should pounce on immediately.

San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan – now that he’s out of “mourning” over the trade that landed the team a franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo – are moving on to the task of surrounding him with some solid weapons.

They’ve made some signings along that offensive line, have added a versatile running back in Jerick McKinnon, and have re-signed receiver Marquise Goodwin to a three-year deal, pairing him with the returning Pierre Garcon.

That’s a pretty good set of offensive tools to work with, right?

Absolutely. But, to really make a splash and upgrade this team’s offensive weaponry in a big way, Lynch and Shanahan could – and should – go after New York Giants star receiver Odell Beckham.

Beckham is playing out the fifth-year of his rookie deal and, despite the fact that he doesn’t have a lot of leverage, has already said he won’t set foot on the field without a contract extension. It’s an extension that may, or may not, be forthcoming, as he’s given the Giants’ front office more headaches than they care to handle of late.

Actually, to be fair, he’s given more headaches than they care to handle for most of his four years in the Big Apple.

More from Golden Gate Sports

But, his talent is undeniable. In his first three seasons in the league, he amassed 288 receptions for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns. An injury shelved him for most of last year, playing in just four games with two starts.

Though the Giants have not expressly said they want to trade Beckham, they also aren’t shying away from the talk that he could be available for the right price. Owner John Mara went so far as to say that nobody was “untouchable” – a point driven home by the recent trade of defensive stalwart Jason Pierre-Paul.

All of that seems to indicate that Beckham could be had if the 49ers put together a package compelling enough for Mara and the Giants to send the mercurial receiver west.

When the Vikings sent big play (and also mercurial) wideout Percy Harvin to Seattle, Minnesota got the Seahawks’ first and seventh round picks (numbers 25 and 214, respectively), as well as their third-rounder the following year.

It would stand to reason that New York might want a similar return on a talent like Beckham. Which means –using the Harvin trade as the template – acquiring him could potentially cost the 49ers the ninth and two-hundred and fortieth pick overall, as well as some consideration in the 2019 Draft.

But, it would give the 49ers a tremendous weapon for Garoppolo to work with. He would help elevate this whole offense to another level. And with the Rams building a secondary that looks nearly impenetrable, being able to roll out a trio of Garcon, Goodwin, and Beckham, would be no small matter.

On the other end of things – meaning, a new deal for Beckham – the market is led by Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, who sits at a cool $17 million per year. Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans $16.5M), Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins ($16.2M), Kansas City’s Sammy Watkins ($16M), and Cleveland’s Jarvis Landry ($15.98M) round out the top five.

Next: A Recap Of The Team's Newest Free Agents

Which, of course, means that the 49ers will have to shell out some serious cash if they hope to land Beckham long-term.

However, according to, the team currently has around $47 million dollars in cap space. So money, is not the issue. They’d be able to do a deal for Beckham and still have enough money left over to maintain the rest of their roster.

Reports are coming out that the Giants are in the early, preliminary stages of working a new deal for Beckham. That could also possibly be leverage to work a better deal in a trade, and it could also be the Giants planning on keeping him if they can’t find a suitor who offers up an enticing deal.

More from San Francisco 49ers

Not that he has much choice on where he plays in 2018, but it stands to reason that, if traded, Beckham would want to go a team that has the pieces in place to be a contender (check), could pay him what he feels he’s worth (check), has stable front office that makes good decisions, has a solid structure and a culture devoted to winning (check), and has a franchise quarterback in place (check).

Those would all likely factor into any decision he made about signing a long-term deal if he’s traded. Meaning, he can’t control whether or not the Giants traded him in 2018, but he’d be an unrestricted free agent in 2019 and can pick his destination.

Given that the 49ers check all of those boxes that might factor the most into his decisions about his future – one of only a handful of teams that can – it would seem like they’d have a better than even chance of working something out with him for the long-term.

It’s a deal that makes absolute sense – for both sides. The Giants would get some valuable assets back (and be free of Beckham-fueled headaches), while the 49ers would be getting a tremendous upgrade to the receiving corps and another dangerous weapon for a Garoppolo-led offense that could be absolutely lethal.

The Giants are committing to nothing, one way or the other. They say they want to keep Beckham, but they’re also leaving the door open for a trade package that wows them. Under Lynch and Shanahan, the 49ers are rapidly building a strong culture and locker room – one that could absorb a personality like Beckham and help him thrive.

And although the Giants are not actively shopping Beckham, they also aren’t not listening to offers. This is a deal that just makes too much sense and it’s one Lynch and Shanahan would be foolish to not, at the very least, explore.