49ers

Antonio Brown didn't request trade away from Steelers, Mike Tomlin says

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USATSI

Antonio Brown didn't request trade away from Steelers, Mike Tomlin says

Despite reports -- and some social-media activity -- to the contrary, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said star wide receiver has not requested a trade away from Pittsburgh.

"I'm not gonna speculate on trades and things of that nature," Tomlin told the media in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. "We haven't formally received a request in that regard, so I'm not gonna speculate. I'm not gonna speculate on where the discipline might go -- just know that it's gonna be addressed ... and needs to be addressed."

Brown did not play in the Steelers' regular-season finale on Sunday, and reportedly "skipped multiple meetings and practices" before and after that game, according to reports from ESPN and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Sunday was also the same day 49ers tight end George Kittle tweeted at Brown, and Brown followed that up by, well, following the 49ers and a bunch of related accounts on social media. 

The 30-year-old is one of the most dynamic playmakers in football, and is coming off his fourth season in the last four years with over 1200 receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns. His 15 receiving TDs were a career high, and matched the entirety of the 49ers' wide-receiver corps in 2018. With nearly $54 million in salary-cap space (per Spotrac), the 49ers would also figure to have plenty of salary-cap space to bring in Brown. 

And if the locker room needs any singers, Brown can apparently help in that area as well. 

Yes, Brown competed on Fox's new ... uh, masked singing competition?  He dressed up as a hippo on the show "The Masked Singer," which premiered on Wednesday and asks a panel of celebrity judges to guess which celebrity is performing under a mask. Brown was eliminated in the first episode.

There's surely a metaphor for Brown's relationship with the Steelers in there somewhere, but we'll have all offseason to figure it out and see if the trade comes to fruition. 

NFL mock draft 2019: All signs point to one player for 49ers at pick No. 2

NFL mock draft 2019: All signs point to one player for 49ers at pick No. 2

The day is finally here. The 2019 NFL Draft is upon us.

After months of pouring over every piece of information about every draft-eligible prospect, all 32 NFL teams will convene in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday for the first round of the draft.

As is often the case, the closer we get to the first pick, the more rumors circulate. There's plenty of talk about which prospects will go high, which might slide, and which teams are in position to shake up the draft.

[RELATED: Why Cards' rumored cooling on Kyler could be a smokescreen]

With only hours to go until the 49ers are scheduled to make their first-round pick, here's an updated selection of various NFL mock drafts highlighting the player(s) being associated with San Francisco and the No. 2 overall pick:

NBC Sports Bay Area: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
What they said: "A year ago, the 49ers’ top edge rushers in their nickel package were Cassius Marsh and Ronald Blair. Now, it’s Dee Ford and Bosa. That’s a significant upgrade. The 49ers have turned a weakness into a strength, and every level of the defense will experience the benefits."

NFL.com: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
What they said: "The Niners can't go wrong with Bosa or Quinnen Williams here, but I think Bosa is a better fit."

SI.com: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
What they said: "The Niners have done all the requisite work on Nick Bosa ... I also know that they have pretty extensive background on how he’ll fit coordinator Robert Salah’s defense. Remember, Nick’s older brother Joey plays for Salah’s old boss/mentor, Chargers DC Gus Bradley. The affection here for Bosa has been no secret, and he’d amp up an already formidable front."

ESPN.com: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
What they said: "Barring a huge offer that nets multiple high picks, the 49ers are likely to stay put and go for the player they believe can be a difference-maker at a premium position from Day 1. Putting Bosa with Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner and the rest of San Francisco's pass-rushers should give the Niners a chance to turn some of the 11 one-possession losses they've suffered the past two seasons into victories."

CBS Sports: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
What they said: "If the Cardinals take Bosa No. 1, the 49ers would likely jump on Quinnen Williams here or see if they can get a decent haul from a team looking to trade up for a QB."

SB Nation: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
What they said: "For several years the 49ers have had issues with edge rushers. The combination of Bosa and Dee Ford solve that problem."

Why Todd McShay thinks Cardinals want 49ers to trade for No. 1 NFL draft pick

Why Todd McShay thinks Cardinals want 49ers to trade for No. 1 NFL draft pick

The 2019 NFL Draft is fewer than 24 hours away, and the game is afoot.

After months of "will they or won't they" "they will" speculation surrounding their interest in Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray, a recent report indicated the Arizona Cardinals might not draft the QB with the No. 1 overall pick after all. That did not pass ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay's sniff test, and he told Ryen Russillo that the latest rumor merely is a ruse.

"Part of the reason all these things are leaking, if it turns out Arizona just stays home and takes Kyler, I think the reason they’re leaking is that Arizona is trying to get (the 49ers) to move up to just get an extra pick to move back a spot to take Kyler,” McShay said on "The Rusillo Show" podcast (H/T Niners Wire).

If this is the Cardinals' plan, they'd be pulling a page from ... well, the team they are trying to take advantage of.

Back in 2017 -- the first draft with general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan in the fold -- the 49ers traded back from the No. 2 spot to No. 3, getting two 2017 selections (Nos. 67 and 111 overall) and one in 2018 (No. 70) from the Chicago Bears. McShay speculated that Arizona isn't looking for the same haul, but if one team knows what a team's real intention of trading back a spot is, it's the 49ers.

San Francisco was not going to draft QB Mitchell Trubisky, and took advantage of Chicago's eagerness to make him the franchise signal-caller. If the Cardinals truly want Murray and are just trying to replicate that strategy, it's hard to imagine them finding their NFC West rivals to be willing partners -- especially considering how many elite defensive players the 49ers have met with in the pre-draft process.

[RELATED: Final predictions for entire first round of 2019 NFL Draft]

Nick Bosa is the best edge-rushing prospect, but Josh Allen isn't far off and Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is considered by some to be the best player available. Thus, the 49ers don't need to select at No. 1 in order to draft an impact player. That might not have been the case if they wanted a quarterback, considering what trades for prospects like Carson Wentz and Jared Goff fetched within the last few seasons.

For all intents and purposes, the Cardinals are assumed by many to be the team who want a quarterback -- specifically Murray. If they pick him at No. 1, they'll likely have to settle for having their cake rather than eating it, too.