New York Giants

NFL rumors: 49ers would have topped Browns' offer for Odell Beckham Jr.

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NFL rumors: 49ers would have topped Browns' offer for Odell Beckham Jr.

Patience normally is a virtue, but it might have cost the 49ers the star receiver they coveted. 

It's well known the 49ers were involved in trade talks for Odell Beckham Jr., refusing to part with the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft without getting the New York Giants' first-round pick back in return. 

Beckham eventually was traded to the Cleveland Browns and the 49ers never got an opportunity to top Cleveland's offer, something many believe they would have done, according to ESPN.

In an in-depth look at the Beckham trade by ESPN's Pat McManamon and Jordan Raanan, it was revealed that rumors about a potential trade to San Francisco forced the Browns to make a play for Beckham, and the 49ers likely would have made a better proposal had they been given the chance.

At the NFL Scouting Combine, the 49ers and Giants discussed a trade for Beckham. The Giants wanted the 49ers' first-round pick and even inquired about DeForest Buckner, but the 49ers nixed that idea, according to McManamon and Raanan.

The Browns had yet to discuss a trade for Beckham with the Giants, but on March 12, the day before the start of free agency, whispers of a deal with the 49ers made Dorsey spring into action while completing a trade for linebacker Olivier Vernon.

"But before he called, the Browns got word that the 49ers were in serious pursuit of Beckham," McManamon and Raanan write. "It's the kind of rumor that circulates at that time of the year. Dorsey was not sure of the 49ers' interest or if San Francisco was going to give up the second overall pick in the draft. He knew the Browns' first-round pick (17th overall) would be better than San Francisco's second-round choice."

While on the call with Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, Dorsey made his move. The deal came together that day, with the Browns agreeing to send the No. 17 pick in the draft, safety Jabril Peppers and a third-round pick to New York in exchange for Beckham.

[RELATED: Why Dee Ford trade made sense for 49ers, but OBJ didn't]

Despite months of discussions between the 49ers and Giants, Gettleman reportedly never shopped the Browns' offer, which left 49ers general manager John Lynch "stunned," as many believe the 49ers "would have been willing to offer more" for Beckham than the Browns did, according to McManamon and Raanan.

It's curious that Gettleman and the Giants wouldn't make calls to see if they could get a better deal. After talking with Lynch for a couple of months, they should have known the 49ers hadn't given their final offer yet.

As it stands, the 49ers still are looking for a top-tier wide receiver to pair with Jimmy Garoppolo. The Browns, on the other hand, have become the NFL's newest flavor of the month, thanks to Beckham. 

49ers tried working on Odell Beckham Jr. trade for 'a couple of months'

49ers tried working on Odell Beckham Jr. trade for 'a couple of months'

Odell Beckham Jr. was officially introduced by the Browns on Monday.

The star wide receiver donned his home jersey, put on an orange hat and was all smiles with his teammates Jarvis Landry, Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett. In a not-so-wild scenario, all of this could have been with the 49ers. 

"We definitely looked into the Odell thing," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on The Adam Schefter Podcast. "John [Lynch] had been working on that for a couple of months trying to see if something could happen." 

The Giants ultimately traded Beckham to the Browns on March 12 for the No. 17 and 95 overall picks in the 2019 NFL draft, plus safety Jabrill Peppers. Though they came up short, 49ers CEO Jed York made it clear the team's pursuit of the star was aggressive.

“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.”

Even if they wind up trading back in the draft, the 49ers didn't want to lose the No. 2 pick. Shanahan echoed York that San Francisco couldn't match what New York wanted. 

"I just didn't think we had the stuff that they wanted, and it didn't work out," Shanahan said. 

There's no doubt the offensive-minded coach would have loved adding a weapon like Beckham. For now, he's happy with the team's additions this offseason and being in the driver's seat with such a high draft pick. 

[RELATED: 49ers meeting with multiple wide receiver draft prospects]

"That would have been a great thing, but that didn't work out," Shanahan said. "It's nice to have the second pick in the draft still." 

How NFL pass interference rule change could have altered 49ers history

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How NFL pass interference rule change could have altered 49ers history

The NFL issued a rule change Tuesday, and New Orleans Saints fans likely are pleased about it.

(Actually, they're probably still quite pissed.)

NFL owners approved a change for at least the 2019 season that will make pass interference -- both offensive and defensive -- a reviewable play. Additionally, coaches will be able to challenge non-calls for pass interference.

The proposed change had significant momentum as a result of the blatant missed pass interference call during the final minutes of the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game that should have given the Saints a first-and-goal opportunity and a chance to go up a touchdown with under two minutes remaining.

Instead, the call was missed, the Saints were forced to kick a field goal, the Los Angeles Rams tied it with 15 seconds remaining in regulation and eventually won in overtime to clinch a trip to Super Bowl LIII. The Saints and the rest of the football world were left wondering how such an obvious penalty could have gone uncalled.

Thus, the rule change. It won't take the sting out of that painful memory for Saints fans, but it will hopefully ensure that such an egregious mistake on the part of the officials doesn't happen again, particularly in such an important moment.

Which brings us to the 49ers. No, a missed pass interference call was not the difference between them making the Super Bowl or not last season. But just like every NFL team, they have both benefitted and been victimized by improperly ruled pass interference calls practically every time they've taken the field.

Some of those instances, however, stick out more than others.

[RELATED: Shanahan: Jimmy G looks good, has added weight in rehab]

Here's a look at some memorable plays (in chronological order) from 49ers history that might have turned out differently under the new rule change:

1983 NFC Championship Game

The 49ers were this close to going to the Super Bowl. Then the officials got in the way.

San Francisco led 21-17 over the Redskins late in the fourth quarter, but Washington had the ball at the 49ers' 45-yard-line. Quarterback Joe Theismann launched a deep pass to receiver Art Monk, but 49ers cornerback Eric Wright was in his back pocket. When Monk attempted to catch the ball, Wright did make contact with him, but the ball was so overthrown that it should have been ruled uncatchable.

"It was a ball a 10-foot tall Boston Celtic couldn't catch, let alone a receiver," 49ers coach Bill Walsh complained after the game.

Instead, Wright was called for a pass interference penalty, placing the ball at San Francisco's 18-yard line. That was soon followed by a questionable-at-best holding call on safety Ronnie Lott, setting up Washington kicker Mark Moseley -- who had already missed four kicks on the day -- for a game-winning 25-yard field goal.

Moseley's kick was good, sending Washington to Super Bowl XVII.

2002 NFC Wild Card Game

One of the crazier games in 49ers history came down to the final seconds, and in this case, San Francisco certainly benefitted from a missed pass interference call that could have changed the outcome.

With the 49ers leading 39-38 in the final seconds, the New York Giants botched the snap on a potential game-winning 41-yard field goal attempt. Placeholder Matt Allen gathered the ball, rolled right and hoisted a dead bird towards San Francisco's end zone in desperation. Giants lineman Rich Seubert -- who had correctly reported as an eligible receiver -- appeared to be open.

[WATCH PLAY HERE]

Then 49ers defensive lineman Chike Okeafor hauled Seubert to the ground while the pass was still in the air. Penalty flags were thrown -- but not on Okeafor. Instead, they had ruled another Giants linemen an ineligible receiver. Had Okeafor also been called for a penalty, those would have offset, and the Giants would have had another shot at a field goal.

Instead, the 49ers declined the ineligible receiver penalty, and the game was over. San Francisco then advanced to the NFC Divisional Round, where they were defeated by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Days after the Wild Card game, the NFL declared that the officials had missed the pass interference call on Okeafor.

Super Bowl XLVII

The last time the 49ers were in the Super Bowl seems particularly relevant to the new rule change.

San Francisco trailed Baltimore 34-29 with 4:19 left in regulation, but marched to the Ravens' 7-yard line on a 33-yard scamper by running back Frank Gore, giving the 49ers a first-and-goal with a chance to take the lead with a touchdown.

On first down, running back LaMichael James rushed for two yards, pushing the ball to Baltimore's 5-yard line. Then, on second and third down, quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw two incomplete passes intended for receiver Michael Crabtree, setting up fourth-and-goal.

[WATCH PLAY HERE]

Kaepernick went back to the same well on fourth down, but the pass intended for Crabtree in the right corner of the end zone fell incomplete once again, but not without some significant contact from Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith.

"There's no question in my mind that it was a pass interference, and then a hold on Crabtree on the last one," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said following the game.

The officials saw it differently and ruled Smith's contact incidental. The 49ers turned the ball over on downs and never got it back, as the Ravens came away with a controversial Super Bowl victory.

49ers vs. Rams, Week 3, 2017

Controversial pass interference rulings happen during the regular season, too, and 49ers receiver Trent Taylor knows that quite well.

Trailing 41-39 to the rival Rams in the fourth quarter, the 49ers recovered an onside kick, giving them a chance to notch their first victory of the young season. The 49ers gained zero yards on the first two plays leading into the two-minute warning, but on third down, 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer found Taylor on an 11-yard out pattern along the left sideline. Taylor secured the catch, appearing to set the 49ers up with a chance for a game-winning field goal.

The officials, however, threw a flag on Taylor -- all 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds of him -- for offensive pass interference, ruling he pushed off of Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman on his way to making the catch.

The contact was minimal at best -- the kind that happens on every single passing play -- and one has to wonder if it would have been overturned under the new rules.

The penalty moved the 49ers back to the Rams' 40-yard-line, facing a third-and-10. Hoyer then threw an incomplete pass before being sacked by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald on fourth down, clinching the victory for Los Angeles.

The 49ers wouldn't get their first win until Week 10.