49ers must weigh both on-field and off-field factors with OBJ


The 49ers have some time to carefully consider all of the ramifications of acquiring wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

The Cleveland Browns announced Friday morning their plan to release Beckham. He is subject to waivers, and the claiming period ends Monday at 1 p.m.

So the 49ers can consider all their options after facing the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.

But even if the 49ers decide they want Beckham, they might not get him. The 49ers currently are No. 12 in the waiver claim priority order with their 3-4 record.

General manager John Lynch, during his weekly appearance on KNBR, did not reveal whether the 49ers plan to make a waiver claim for Beckham.

“What I can assure you is we’re always trying to make ourselves better, and if we have an opportunity to do so, we will,” Lynch said. “I’ll leave it at that for strategic reasons.”

The 49ers appear to feel better about their receiver position now than a week or two ago, so that could impact their desire to add Beckham to their team for the second half of the season.

Second-year wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk’s work habits — after coach Kyle Shanahan lit a fire under him — have improved and he had his best game of the season in Week 8 against the Chicago Bears.

Currently, Deebo Samuel, Aiyuk and Mohamed Sanu are the team’s top three wide receivers. The remaining receivers on the team’s roster — Trent Sherfield, Jauan Jennings and Travis Benjamin — have combined for just seven catches for 72 yards in seven games.

Lynch and Shanahan have unquestionably discussed the impact Beckham could have on the field, as well as the locker room. That balance has been a big part of Beckham’s story since breaking into the league as the No. 12 overall pick of the New York Giants in 2014.

His best three NFL seasons were his first three (2014-2016), during which time he caught 288 passes for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns.

Beckham was a member of the Browns organization for two-and-a-half seasons after a five-year career with the Giants.

The Giants traded Beckham and edge rusher Olivier Vernon to the Browns in 2019 for safety Jabrill Peppers, guard Kevin Zeitler and the Browns' first-and third-round picks in the 2019 draft.

RELATED: 49ers get precise read on Aiyuk's improvements with GPS

Beckham appeared in 29 games (28 starts) with the Browns, catching 114 passes for 1,586 yards and seven touchdowns.

HIs time with the Browns was marked with injuries and drama.

"After careful consideration, internal discussions and conversations with Odell and his representation, we've determined that it is in the best interest of all parties involved that Odell no longer play for the Cleveland Browns,” the team’s general manager, Andrew Berry, said in a statement.

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