49ers

Why Dee Ford trade makes sense for 49ers, but Odell Beckham deal didn't

Why Dee Ford trade makes sense for 49ers, but Odell Beckham deal didn't

The New York Giants maintained for weeks that three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was not signed to a lucrative extension in August to trade him just a few months later.

But the Cleveland Browns made the Giants an offer they could not refuse, delivering a bounty for his rights through the 2023 season. And all indications are that the 49ers were not willing to part ways with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft to acquire Beckham.

The Kansas City Chiefs, meanwhile, placed the franchise tag on edge rusher Dee Ford last week. The intention was to trade him.

The price was right for the 49ers, who kept all of their 2019 draft picks to fill their biggest need with the best available player to get after the quarterback. Completion of the trade Tuesday night was contingent on working out the details of a contract extension with the 49ers.

Those details were hammered out with a five-year, $87.5 million agreement, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported.

Ford was one of four edge rushers who was tagged as a franchise player. His one-year salary as an outside linebacker was scheduled to be $15.443 million. The non-exclusive tag means other teams were allowed to negotiate with Ford and sign him to an offer sheet. The price tag for signing a franchise player is two first-round draft picks.

But the Chiefs settled for far less from the 49ers to dump his salary.

Ford, 27, was a first-round pick of the Chiefs in 2014. He had a breakout season in 2016 with 10 sacks before struggling with back issues in 2017 and appearing in just six games.

But Ford bounced back strong in 2018, recording 13 sacks and 55 tackles in 16 games. His season set him up for a big pay day after playing last season on the fifth-year option at $8,7 million.

The key to the 49ers’ willingness to work with the Chiefs and not the Giants is obvious. The 49ers did not have to touch their No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft.

The Giants got what they wanted from the Browns -- the No. 17 overall pick -- while not parting with their selection at No. 6. The Giants also were able to pick up a third-round pick this year, as well as fill a need at safety. The Browns sent safety Jabrill Peppers to the Giants, who lost Landon Collins as a free agent to Washington on Monday.

The 49ers have more than one hole to fill, so it was important for them to hold onto as many of their draft picks as possible. And after acquiring Ford, they still have more work to do to improve their pass rush.

[RELATED: Report: 49ers bring back long snapper]

The No. 2 overall pick is likely to bring more help for the defense after the club agreed to terms with free-agent linebacker Kwon Alexander on Monday.

The most logical options for the 49ers is to complement Ford and DeForest Buckner with one of two edge-rushing prospects -- Nick Bosa or Josh Allen.

NFL draft: Five players 49ers can target as Day 2 options on offense, defense

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AP

NFL draft: Five players 49ers can target as Day 2 options on offense, defense

The national TV audience will begin to evaporate and the names called will not be as familiar, but Friday will be every bit as important as Day 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft.

“Everybody talks about the first round, but this draft is all about the second, third and fourth rounds,” an NFL West Coast scout told NBC Sports Bay Area.

The depth of this year’s draft makes every team’s selections on Day 2 potentially just as important and impactful as those chosen in the first round.

The 49ers own four picks within the top 104 selections. General manager John Lynch is set to pick at No. 2. After that, the 49ers have scheduled selections at Nos. 36 (second round), 67 (third round) and 104 (fourth round).

Here are some options for the 49ers on Day 2 of the NFL draft:

WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

There is something about Samuel’s movements, patience and ability to separate quickly versus man coverage that would seem to be attractive for coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers struggled mightily in the red zone the past two seasons, and Samuel would give the team a boost in that area.

After the 49ers spent a week with him at the Senior Bowl, Samuel was provided a plane ticket to also meet with the 49ers in Santa Clara. New receivers coach Wes Welker had not joined the staff when the club was in Mobile, so Welker was able to spend some quality time with Samuel in the Bay Area.

The 49ers’ pick at No. 36 would be a logical spot at which to target Samuel.

WR Hakeem Butler, Iowa State

Butler is massive. He is 6-5, 227 pounds. He is a wide receiver. And the first reaction is that he looks like a formidable red zone target. But Shanahan has never liked the randomness and low-percentage nature of the fade route or jump ball near the end zone.

The question with Butler is much the same as the question with N’Keal Harry of Arizona State. Can he regularly and routinely find separation against bigger, faster, stronger, more-skilled NFL cornerbacks?

Butler should be among a group of wide receivers that fly off the board in rapid-fire succession on the second day of the draft.

S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida

Different teams might view him in different ways. And for the 49ers, that kind of versatility is certainly not a bad thing.

He is 5-11, 210 pounds and ran a 4.48 at the NFL Scouting Combine. He had three sacks and nine tackles for loss last season, which points to his ability to play close to the line of scrimmage. He also led the Gators with four interceptions, so he could also be viewed as a single-high safety.

When the 49ers choose in the second round, there should be plenty of starter-caliber safeties from which to choose.

S Juan Thornhill, Virginia

Thornhill (6-0, 205) is another in the cluster of safeties who should be available at No. 36 but not when the 49ers select in the third round. It’s a group that includes Gardner-Johnson, Darnell Savage (Maryland), Nasir Adderley (Delaware) and Taylor Rapp (Washington).

The 49ers are coming off a season in which they set the NFL record for fewest interceptions in a season with two. Thornhill has experience at cornerback and showed those coverage skills when he moved to safety. He recorded 13 interceptions in his final three college seasons.

The 49ers might even be tempted to move him to cornerback, like they did a year ago with third-round draft pick Tarvarius Moore.

CB Lonnie Johnson, Kentucky

He might not be able to win a starting job immediately, but he should be a big special-teams performer from Day 1 and work into a significant role on defense. At 6-2, 213, Johnson is a good fit for the 49ers’ defensive scheme.

[RELATED: 49ers should find starters at edge rusher, wide receiver]

He is at his best re-routing receivers off the line of scrimmage. He should be able to handle the requirements of the 49ers’ preferred cover-three defense. In addition, he is an aggressive hitter who will be good in run support.

Is 36 too high for him? Perhaps, but he could be a target in Round 3.

Longtime 49ers scout Reggie Cobb dies from apparent heart attack at 50

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49ers.com

Longtime 49ers scout Reggie Cobb dies from apparent heart attack at 50

Longtime 49ers area scout Reggie Cobb died Saturday morning in the Bay Area from an apparent heart attack, the club announced. He was 50.

“We are devastated by the sudden loss of a tremendous teammate and loyal friend, Reggie Cobb,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement.

“Reggie was an enthusiastic and passionate person who had a special ability to brighten up a room with his personality and infectious smile. For 10 years, the 49ers were better because of Reggie and these unique qualities that he possessed.

“He was a top-notch scout and an exemplary man whose years of service to this organization and the National Football League will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this time of mourning.”

Cobb played seven NFL seasons after entering the league as the No. 30 overall pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1990 from Tennessee.

In his career as a running back, he gained 3,743 yards and scored 25 touchdowns while playing four seasons with Tampa Bay and one apiece with Green Bay, Jacksonville and the New York Jets.

He transitioned into scouting, serving two years with Washington and six with Tampa Bay before coming to the 49ers. Cobb was entering his 11th year as an area scout with the 49ers. In 2011, he was named NFC Scout of the Year by the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

Cobb finished his college career ranked third on the University of Tennessee’s career rushing chart with 2,360 yards and 26 touchdowns. He was also a member of the school’s 100th anniversary team. He lettered in track and graduated with a degree in urban studies in 1990.

Cobb lived in Sugarland, Texas, with his son, DeMarcus, according to his 49ers bio.