49ers Tabbed as ‘Good Spot’ for Controversial Projected $12 Million WR

If the 49ers need a bit of a jolt to get them over the Super Bowl hump in 2024, perhaps the way to get it is by adding one of the more outspoken lightning-rod players in the NFL, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Whether they keep or trade away Brandon Aiyuk doesn’t necessarily matter—adding OBJ can go a long way toward giving a team more edge, and that’s something the 49ers could no doubt use.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan liked Odell Beckham Jr. in 2021. Would the team sign him now?

Beckham is coming off a one-year, $15 million contract with the Ravens and would not be a guy who would break the bank for the 49ers, especially since he’d have a very good shot at a Super Bowl ring in San Francisco.

Spotrac projects him getting a one-year, $12 million contract this offseason. Pro Football Focus has him getting one year and $7 million on the market. With the Buccaneers’ Mike Evans re-signing and both the Bengals’ Tee Higgins and the Colts’ Michael Pittman being franchise-tagged, the market for receivers has thinned quickly, and Beckham could be a valuable commodity for a contender.

That includes the 49ers.

Memories of NFC Championship Game Linger

That’s the view from CBS Sports insider Josina Anderson, who sees the 49ers as one of the teams that should realistically push to sign Beckham. He spent last year dealing with injuries in Baltimore, and did have some brilliant games that signaled he could be ready to help the Ravens get to the Super Bowl—116 yards on four catches in Week 11, and 97 yards and a touchdown in Week 13.

But OBJ was ineffective in the playoffs, totaling four catches for 34 yards in the Ravens’ two games.

Wrote Anderson on Twitter/X: “I think the #Chiefs#49ers#Jets#Rams or returning to the #Ravens are 5 good landing spots for OBJ, on mutually agreeable terms—in my opinion. The first thing is getting Odell more involved in the offense, & also carving out his role. I know this from covering him since his rookie year. But when it’s pressure time in the postseason, and it’s ‘down and gotta have it” he’ll catch the pressure ball like he did to earn himself a ring in LA.”

Beckham was, in fact, a big contributor in 2021 when he left the Browns for the Rams midseason. He helped that Rams team to a championships, as 49ers fans well know—Beckham had nine catches for 113 yards in the NFC Championship game against San Francisco, including three in the fourth quarter that helped fuel L.A.’s comeback from a 10-point deficit.

Beckham tore his ACL in the Super Bowl, though, and missed all of 2022.

49ers Could Use Odell Beckham Jr. as No. 3 Option

Certainly, during his tenure in the NFL, Beckham has not been afraid to court controversy, with his antics—butting heads with coaches and, often, other players—in New York early in his career earning him a ticket out of town to the Browns. He lasted two-and-a-half seasons in Cleveland, before the Browns grew tired of him, too.

The Ravens gave him a shot last year, but he struggled to find his footing and had injuries to his shoulder and ankle throughout the season. In 14 games, Beckham 35 catches for 565 yards and five touchdowns.

He would make sense as a No. 3 option behind Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, and could perhaps give the 49ers some insurance if they can’t come to a long-term extension with Aiyuk this offseason. The 49ers also want to keep Jauan Jennings, who was a No. 3 option last year.

When he was let go by the Browns in 2021, coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about signing him to the 49ers, and said, “Yeah, everyone’s big fans of his. I don’t know anyone who’s not.” But he went to the Rams, and that didn’t work out so well for Shanahan.

In sizing up Beckham’s free agency, PFF noted that there is still some talent there: “Beckham progressively looked more and more like his old self as 2023 wore on. His 90.0 receiving grade from Weeks 9-14 trailed only Tyreek Hill among wide receivers.”

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