CEO Jed York says 49ers were aggressive in pursuit of Odell Beckham

CEO Jed York says 49ers were aggressive in pursuit of Odell Beckham

PHOENIX – The 49ers were apparently not willing to part ways with the No. 2 overall pick without getting the New York Giants’ pick at No. 6 to acquire wide receiver Odell Beckham two weeks ago.

CEO Jed York on Sunday at the NFL owners meeting was asked how close the 49ers came from landing Beckham in a trade.

“Not close enough,” York answered.

The Giants worked out a trade with the Cleveland Browns on March 12 to trade Beckham in exchange for the Browns’ first-round pick at No. 17 overall, a third-round pick (No. 95 overall) and safety Jabrill Peppers.

After not showing any interest in dealing with Pittsburgh for Antonio Brown, who ended up with the Raiders, the 49ers pursued Beckham, York confirmed.

“We were definitely in it,” York said. “We were aggressive. But I think (the Giants) wanted different things than we had to offer. I think it would have been very hard for us to just give up a first-round pick and not get a ton in return, other than just the player, knowing that the second pick in the draft is a very, very valuable pick.”

[RELATED: Why Ford, not OBJ, made sense]

Beckham is not the first All-Pro caliber player the 49ers pursued in the past year in a trade but were unable to close the deal. Prior to the start of last season, the 49ers felt they had a better offer on the table to the Raiders for edge rusher Khalil Mack.

The Raiders ended up trading Mack and a second-round draft pick in 2020 to the Bears for first-round picks in 2019 and 2020, a third-rounder in 2020 and a sixth-round pick this year.

Why Kyle Shanahan is sticking with new 49ers left tackle Justin Skule

Why Kyle Shanahan is sticking with new 49ers left tackle Justin Skule

SANTA CLARA —Without viable options on the open market to take the place of left tackle Joe Staley, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said that rookie Justin Skule will get the nod for now. 

The 49ers picked up two impressive wins on the East Coast but came home with a big loss. Staley will miss approximately six to eight weeks with a fractured left fibula. Unfortunately for the 49ers, they already lost swing tackle Shon Coleman for the season with an ankle injury. 

Washington Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams is holding out for a new contract and does have experience with Shanahan’s system but there’s very little chance he ends up in Santa Clara. The price for a trade would be too high and Williams likely does not want to be a one-year rental. 

While Shanahan said that there’s a possibility the 49ers work out a few tackles this week, the team is not set on anything yet. Shanahan thought that Skule did a nice job going in after Staley left Sunday's game. 

"We were mainly running the ball at that time," Shanahan said. "But it was good to get him in a real NFL game especially since he’s going to be playing a lot next week.” 

Skule was a four-year starter at Vanderbilt and Shanahan believes that experience in the SEC will be valuable. Shanahan and the front office will still keep their noses to the ground looking for options, which he said is standard procedure.

“Always,” Shanahan said. “We would love to if there were options. You look at anything that’s possible. I don’t think that there are a ton of options out there that are possible.”

Shahanan explained that Skule is on the roster for a reason, which is why they have confidence that he can hold down the left side until Staley returns. 

“We kept Skule because we thought he was the best available,” Shanahan said. “So that doesn’t change now. I think that Skule is going to get a lot better throughout his career but we kept him on this team because he can help us win now.” 

One option the team will not explore is Mike McGlinchey switching to the left side. Shanahan doesn’t believe that one side is more important as defensive ends often rush from both sides, with the exception of Von Miller. 

Second-year lineman Daniel Brunskill is another option, who Shanahan said will work out this week at tackle as well. Most likely, the coaching staff will adjust to the personnel they have and provide help on the left side by using tight ends and/or a fullback for support.

[RELATED: Staley vows to coach Skule]

Shanahan said adding help isn’t only for rookies. The coach has always game-planned help as needed and sometimes elite players need it too. 

“I’ve been with a lot of good tackles,” Shanahan said. “Had Trent Williams in Washington and Joe Thomas in Cleveland and Joe Staley here. There’s still times when you’ve got to help those guys also.”

In Jalen Ramsey trade, 49ers should be willing to do whatever it takes

In Jalen Ramsey trade, 49ers should be willing to do whatever it takes

The 49ers had an offensive breakthrough in Week 2. Now, an opportunity for a defensive one has presented itself.

While San Francisco was laying waste to the Bengals, the Jaguars were getting frustrated in a close divisional loss to the Texans. That frustration boiled over in a sideline exchange between Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone and Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey, in which both men had to be separated. The emotions haven't died down in the aftermath, apparently, as Ramsey reportedly requested a trade Monday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen were the first to report the trade demand, citing Ramsey's agent, David Mulugheta. According to Schefter, the Jaguars are already looking into trading their talented defensive back, and are seeking significant draft compensation in return.

Now, 49ers. Now is the time to act.

Just like Minkah Fitzpatrick, who similarly recently requested a trade from the dumpster fire that is the Miami Dolphins, San Francisco should be willing to do whatever it takes to put Ramsey in a 49ers uniform.

For starters, Ramsey is arguably the best cornerback in all of football. If he isn't the best, he's near the top of the list. In his three-plus seasons in the NFL, he's started all 50 games, made two Pro Bowls and has been named a First-Team All-Pro. He'll turn 25 years old in October, and at 6-1, 208 lbs with a 4.41 40-yard dash and 41.5-inch vertical, he's a perfect fit for San Francisco's defensive system. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the second-best cornerback in the NFL entering the current season.

A first-round draft pick (and additional filler) is well worth it to acquire a player of Ramsey's ilk, particularly given San Francisco's current trajectory. At 2-0 with a beat-up Steelers team coming into town, the 49ers look as if they'll be in playoff contention this season. Whether or not they end their playoff drought, you can expect their own 2020 first-round draft pick to fall in the late teens at best, if not the 20s. As such, Ramsey -- and Fitzpatrick, for that matter -- are far superior talents to whichever prospect would be available to San Francisco at that selection. Both Ramsey (24) and Fitzpatrick (22) are proven commodities, and just a couple years older -- at most -- than whoever they would pick in the first round next April.

And yes, the 49ers already are without their 2020 second-round draft pick, given away in the trade to acquire Dee Ford. But, again, odds are that Ramsey will have a significantly better career than anyone they'll find on the first two days of the draft. San Francisco doesn't want its draft cupboards to be bare, but there are ways to add additional picks in the later rounds. Not to mention, it's not as if the 49ers have been crushing it with their recent first-round draft selections.

Now, you may be saying that while Ramsey is worth a first-round draft pick, the 49ers simply don't need him, given they have Richard Sherman locking down one side, and Ahkello Witherspoon looking strong through the first two games of the season. Need I remind you, however, that Witherspoon looked extremely shaky last season, even being benched at times, and while he has looked improved, his best highlight is an interception returned for a touchdown that was thrown directly to him.

Simply put, the 49ers can't be sure that Witherspoon will come anywhere close to Ramsey's level. They brought in Jason Verrett to compete with Witherspoon in training camp, and while the third-year cornerback won that battle, Verrett was inactive against the Bengals, so maybe that competition wasn't as heated as initially expected. And, even if Witherspoon did bloom into a lockdown cornerback a la Ramsey, San Francisco would soon have to pay him a boatload once his rookie contract concludes at the end of next season. Meanwhile, Sherman will turn 32 in March, and is less than two years removed from a torn Achilles.

[RELATED: Should 49ers trade for Williams after Staley's injury?]

Now, 49ers. Now is the time to act.