NFL rumors: 49ers among four teams that could trade for Antonio Brown


NFL rumors: 49ers among four teams that could trade for Antonio Brown

The 49ers should have the room to acquire embattled Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown, but they're not the only ones. 

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport listed the 49ers, New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts among the teams interested in trading for the wide receiver, based on their salary-cap space. Rapoport added Saturday on "NFL GameDay Morning" that he was told the Denver Broncos are a team to "keep an eye on" if Brown is made available.

According to Over The Cap, the 49ers have just over $62 million in cap space entering this offseason. That's fewer than each of the other teams Rapoport mentioned, save for the Broncos. Of course, those teams don't have social-media tea leaves on their side, although Brown did follow Jets defensive back Jamal Adams recently on Twitter. 

Like each of those teams, the 49ers do need a game-breaking receiver. Brown's 15 touchdowns equaled the collective total of the 49ers' wide receivers this past season. He also has 100-plus receptions and 1,000-plus receiving yards in each of the last six seasons, something the 49ers haven't had since Terrell Owens caught 100 passes for 1,300 yards ... in 2002. 

The 49ers also should have the necessary draft capital to acquire Brown. Rapoport said the asking price is believed to be a package centered around a second-round pick, based on conversations with NFL general managers (who may or may not want to drive said price down for their own purposes). San Francisco has one pick in every round, save for the fifth and seventh. 

The Jets do not have a second-rounder in 2019, as it was traded to the Colts when they moved up to select USC quarterback Sam Darnold last year. The Broncos have a second-round pick as well. 

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No matter which team can meet the Steelers' asking price, though, Rapoport said Brown's differences with the Steelers are nearly irreconcilable. 

"A lot of work would have to happen in order for [the Steelers] to accept Brown back next year," Rapoport said. 

Given their needs, the 49ers probably won't have the same hesitancy.

Watch young Broncos fan almost walk off with Jimmy Garoppolo's helmet

Watch young Broncos fan almost walk off with Jimmy Garoppolo's helmet

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will always make time for his fans.

Heck, he'll even make time for opposing fans. Just don't steal his helmet -- it doesn't matter how cute you are.

During the 49ers-Denver Broncos joint practice on Saturday, Jimmy G ran up to some fans and started signing autographs. Including a young Broncos-shirt wearing kid. The quarterback asked him to hold his helmet for a bit so he could sign, and the youngin' almost ran off with it before Garoppolo asked for it back:

"I need that back, though," Garoppolo laughed.

All in good fun.

[RELATED: Lynch confident Garoppolo will have successful return]

But the man's got to keep that helmet.

It would have been fun to watch him try and run off with it though.

Richard Sherman, 49ers defense 'light years ahead' of last season

Richard Sherman, 49ers defense 'light years ahead' of last season

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The day after Richard Sherman praised both teams for their lack of physical conflict, the re-energized 49ers defense got under the skin of the Broncos and the result was a sideline-clearing skirmish.

“If it’s clean like it was today, two teams just competing, getting after it and perfecting their craft against guys who are different, not all the fights and excess then it’s fine,” Sherman said after the first joint practice in Colorado on Friday,

Unfortunately, it got a little chippy between the 49ers' defense and the Broncos' offense during the second day of team drills.

There was pretty big hit by the 49ers defense that resulted in a tackle for a loss and tempers started to flare. The ensuing play was an incomplete pass from Drew Lock to rookie tight end Troy Fumagalli. Marcell Harris went flying across the field as a result of an apparent blind side shove and both groups tussled on the field for over 30 seconds.

Two Broncos players, receiver Brendan Langley and tight end Bug Howard were ejected from practice. Coach Kyle Shanahan said he didn’t see the melee but like anything else, he will watch the film to make sure his players were not the instigators.

“Yeah, they got into a little scuffle over there,” Shanahan said. “I actually wasn’t on the field, so I didn’t see much of it. By the time I got over there, it was pretty much broken up. I know a couple guys got sent in. I was told none of our guys threw punches, so when I see the tape, we’ll see if they were telling the truth. Hopefully, they were.”

While the 49ers' defense may not have started the fight, they decidedly are more confident this season.

“It’s light years ahead of last year,” Sherman said. “I think it’s just young guys being veterans this year. I think the experience that a lot of guys playing a lot of downs last year gave them the confidence they needed to take the next steps.

“That’s why you see our twos and threes way ahead of where they were last year and our ones light years ahead of where they were, especially with the talent. Even when you’re missing Dee Ford and [Nick] Bosa right now, we’re still making plays, we’re getting the rush, we still have the intensity."

Sherman also noted how the addition of Kwon Alexander’s high level of energy has affected second-year linebacker Fred Warner in a positive way.

“It’s huge,” Sherman said. “You see it because they are tone setters. They’re in the middle they are just about on every tackle. They can feel every pass play every run play and when they’re bringing energy I think it emulates throughout the defense. The D-line feels it, the secondary feels it. Their intensity can change the day.”

[RELATED: Why Lynch is confident Jimmy G will have successful return]

When asked who started the fight, Sherman smiled.

"Good question. We'll just say them. It was them."