49ers

Lynch: Shanahan's plan was to sign Kirk Cousins, Garoppolo 'had to really prove himself'

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AP

Lynch: Shanahan's plan was to sign Kirk Cousins, Garoppolo 'had to really prove himself'

Remember all those stories about how the 49ers were going to try to sign Kirk Cousins?

Well. They were all accurate.

On Wednesday, 49ers GM John Lynch was asked about acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo at the deadline.

"We made the trade, but then there were some days when Kyle Shanahan was like in mourning, because I think everybody knows his master plan was to have Kirk Cousins come in eventually," Lynch said on ESPN radio. "I was proud of Kyle because I think he knew that this was the right thing for our franchise and he didn't hesitate.

"But even then, Jimmy had to really prove himself. Kyle was really smart -- he didn't play him right away ... when he did put him in, he put him in a position to succeed.

"I would tell you that Jimmy really impressed Kyle, to the point where he said, 'This is our guy.'"

Yes. Garoppolo is the 49ers' guy.

The 26-year old signed a 5-year deal worth up to more than $137 million (with over $74 million guaranteed).

Cousins, meanwhile, inked a 3-year deal with Minnesota that will pay him $84 million guaranteed.

NFL rumors: Antonio Brown, Jerry Rice push idea of receiver's trade to 49ers

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USATSI

NFL rumors: Antonio Brown, Jerry Rice push idea of receiver's trade to 49ers

Sorry, 49ers fans, but Mike Garafolo is here to harsh your mellow.

The NFL Media reporter recently said on TSN's "SC with Jay and Dan" that there's no sense the 49ers will strongly pursue a trade for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. In fact, the whole notion of a deal is being driven by Brown and a 49ers legend.

"I'm told it's just Jerry Rice and Antonio Brown, who are pretty tight, putting this out there, trying to lay the groundwork for it," Garafolo said on the Canadian sports show. "The 49ers really haven't pursued it to that extent. The Steelers really haven't had any trade talks with teams at this point, so this is still going to develop going forward."

Rice has said Brown badly wants to play for the 49ers and that the team should "go for it," but the decision rests with general manager John Lynch, who remains silent on the topic. 49ers fans, however, have been vocal about their desire to have Brown on the team, so between that and a Hall of Famer's prodding, perhaps momentum toward a move can be made.

But there's more ...

Garafolo added that the Steelers aren't ruling out Brown staying with the team, although it will take some "groveling" from the receiver. And if we know anything about NFL stars who reportedly cause locker-room rifts, demand trades and drop social media hints about joining other teams, it's that groveling isn't part of the equation.

Until the Steelers publicly say Brown isn't going anywhere -- and owner Art Rooney had that chance earlier this week --- 49ers fans will continue to dream. After all, the GOAT has spoken.

Antonio Brown's tweet thanking Steelers fans doesn't end trade rumors

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AP

Antonio Brown's tweet thanking Steelers fans doesn't end trade rumors

Antonio Brown sent a tweet that he claimed was a thank you, not a goodbye, to Pittsburgh Steelers fans.

It sure as heck read like a farewell letter, though.

Brown's Saturday night Twitter post featured a video of him being carried off with a calf injury in a 2017 game against the Patriots, with Steelers fans loudly cheering him, along with a message.

It's unlikely those same fans now would rain down MVP chants on Brown, who has made it clear he's ready for a new team. So whether this tweet simply was an attempt to mend fences with Pittsburgh fans or a sign that a trade indeed is in the works remains to be seen. Responses to the tweet speculated about both possibilities.

Fans across the NFL, including those in the Bay, are salivating at the prospect of Brown taking the top of defenses for their teams. In particular, Brown added to the 49ers' 2019 core of Jimmy Garroppolo, Jerick McKinnon and George Kittle sounds enticing, but the pending transaction price and the real root of the wide receiver's beef in Pittsburgh aren't known.

Brown's recent Twitter activity seem to indicate he has the 49ers on his mind, and that idea also has Hall of Fame-level supporters. Turning that idea into reality, though, likely will be harder than it seems. It always is when All-Pro talent, reported locker-room fractures and trade demands are involved.

So The Faithful wait. Still.