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49ers could make a play for OBJ

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The Steelers and Antonio Brown appear to be at an impasse and Mike Florio and Chris Simms try to figure out how it got to this point and what can be done moving forward.

At a time when 49ers tight end George Kittle is openly flirting with Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, there’s another receiver who could be a more likely trade target for San Francisco.

If the Giants decide to move on from receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the 49ers could pursue him.

The 49ers considered it during that window last year when Beckham seemed to be available, and there’s already buzz this year that, if he’s available, the 49ers would be interested.

As recently explained, Beckham’s contract is very tradeable, with five years and $74 million remaining on the long-term deal signed last August. The Giants would have to absorb a $16 million cap charge (a post-June 1 trade would result in $4 million this year and $12 million in 2020), and they’d have to accept the fact that they will have paid him more than $21 million for 12 games in 2018.

But if the Giants decide it’s time to move on, it makes sense to write it off and avoid paying another $17 million in 2019. Especially if they can maximize their recovery on the trade market.

The potential availability of Antonio Brown could complicate things, giving teams that would be interested in Beckham an option. Although the Steelers would be facing dead money of more than $21 million, the Steelers may decide that the time has come to minimize distractions. Since Brown seems to be the source of many of this distractions, moving on could be the right idea.

Regardless of how it all plays out, 2019 could end up being eventful, with the possible reshuffling of a couple of high-profile offensive players. Given the impact defensive end Khalil Mack had on the Bears, teams looking for a quick turnaround or the missing piece could be intrigued.