49ers

Report: Browns owner ended talk of trading Gordon to 49ers

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Report: Browns owner ended talk of trading Gordon to 49ers

Editor's note: Stay logged on to CSNBayArea.com as Matt Maiocco reports on the Week 1 matchup between the 49ers and Cowboys from AT&T Stadium in Arlington

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam delivered the tie-breaking vote to end trade talks with the 49ers last season, according to a report Sunday on CBSSports.com.

[RELATED: Josh Gordon's one-year suspension upheld]

The Browns’ front office wanted to deal Gordon, according to the report, while then-coach Rob Chudzinski was against the idea. Gordon caught 87 passes for a league-leading 1,646 yards in 14 games.

A year ago, sources told CSNBayArea.com that the 49ers would have been willing to trade for Gordon only if the Browns would assume risk for any off-field issues that would keep Gordon from playing.

Gordon is serving a one-year suspension for latest violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

According to the report, the 49ers offered a second-round pick, in addition to other players.

The trade talks came at a time when 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith checked himself into treatment for substance abuse and missed five games. The 49ers did not have a wide receiver to complement Anquan Boldin during the first 11 games while Michael Crabtree rehabbed from a torn Achilles.

49ers have great challenge defending Chiefs' Travis Kelce in Super Bowl LIV

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AP

49ers have great challenge defending Chiefs' Travis Kelce in Super Bowl LIV

SANTA CLARA – The Kansas City Chiefs employ an Olympic track team at the skill positions. That’s what it seems like with so many lightning quick parts of the pattern, who could combine to form one heck of a relay team.

Travis Kelce might never get the baton in that situation. He might not even be an alternate on the 4x100, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous as a receiving tight end.

He’s the best of this generation, certainly equal to 49ers tight end George Kittle as a receiver. Kelce was a second-team All-Pro behind Kittle this year after being named to the first team two of the past three seasons.

In short, he’s awesome. Kelce also adds another dimension to the passing game. He isn’t slow by any stretch, even if he’d never beat Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman and Sammy Waktins in a race.

He’s physical, quick and a human mismatch against linebackers and safeties alike. He’s someone the 49ers will focus on Feb. 2 in Super Bowl LIV in Miami.

“The dude is a receiving threat for sure,” 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner said. “They like to put him in a lot of different positions to get him to catch the ball, and he knows what to do with it after he catches it. So I mean, he's a mismatch for sure. You don't really know who to put on him. You put a safety on him, he's a bigger body. You put a linebacker on him, he's shifty, he's fast. So he's going to be a challenge for us for sure.”

The 49ers, however, are used to covering elite tight ends. They did it often in the offseason and training camp dealing with Kittle – top units play the scout team during a regular-season practice week – when first units clash.

Kittle studies him as much as anyone looking for tips in the game tape, and respects Kelce’s game.

“I've been a fan of Travis Kelce since he's been in the league,” Kittle said. “I watched his tape when I was in college. Watch his tape now. I get his games every single week so I can watch what he does. He's definitely one of the best in the game at what he does, receiving, just finding open spots. I got to meet Travis last year when we played him at the Chiefs. Had a jersey exchange after the season and then I met him again in Atlanta during the Super Bowl. So we definitely know each other. He's awesome.”

[RELATED: Chiefs' Eric Bieniemy indentifies 'heart and soul' of 49ers' defense]

He could be a headache running over the middle, especially on third down. Kelce led the NFL with 1,229 receiving yards on 97 catches on 130 targets, with 66 receptions going for a first down.

Kelce also knows how good the 49ers have been this season. According to pro-football-reference.com, they allowed a league-low 552 yards to tight ends, on 66 catches during the regular season. They have also given up six touchdowns to tight ends.

That’s why Kelce’s pouring focus into finding ways to game prep.

“I’m working hard, trying to figure out how to beat the 49ers,” Kelce said. “That has been the mindset every day since we won the AFC championship game. We have two weeks to prepare for the biggest game of my life, and the clock’s ticking.”

Super Bowl 54 odds: Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes clear favorite to win MVP

Super Bowl 54 odds: Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes clear favorite to win MVP

The 49ers' defense will closely watch Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LIV. Just over a week before the teams square off in Miami, oddsmakers have their eyes on the reigning NFL MVP, too. 

Mahomes is the odds-on favorite to be named Super Bowl MVP on Feb. 3, according to Caesars Palace. The third-year pro is listed at +105, while 49ers counterpart Jimmy Garoppolo has the second-best odds at +275.

It's hard to go wrong with a QB for Super Bowl MVP, considering a signal-caller has won the award 29 of 53 times. Mahomes arguably is the most exciting player in the NFL, too, orchestrating double-digit comebacks in each of the Chiefs' wins to advance out of the AFC to their first Super Bowl since 1970.

Caesars clearly are banking on Garoppolo driving the 49ers' bus rather than being a passenger. Garoppolo threw the ball a combined 27 times for 208 yards in San Francisco's first two playoff games after averaging 29.75 attempts per game during the regular season, and his odds indicate an expectation -- whether that's the sportsbook's or bettors' -- that he'll return to form in the Super Bowl.

[RELATED: How Kittle's run-blocking enthusiasm rubs off on 49ers]

Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Davis was the most recent running back to win Super Bowl MVP, and only six running backs have earned the honor. A tight end has never won it, and those notions are reflected in Raheem Mostert (+600) and George Kittle's (+1000) odds, respectively. Mostert is coming off a franchise-record-setting performance in the NFC Championship Game, while Kittle led the 49ers in receiving for the second straight season and graded out as Pro Football Focus' best player this season.

Given their role in the 49ers' offense, they'd seem to be decent longshots if San Francisco wins its sixth Super Bowl. As those who picked the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Round can tell you, you ultimately bet against Mahomes at your own peril, though.