49ers players are flirting openly with Antonio Brown. One of the best players in franchise (and league) history has said that Brown wants to play for the 49ers.
So what does 49ers’ management want?
There’s a belief in league circles that the 49ers have real interest in Brown. With Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. apparently not available this year (he was kind of possibly maybe available in March 2018), the 49ers will be inclined to explore whether they can get Brown.
The contract remains a desirable one, at just under $39 million over the next three years, assuming Brown doesn’t want to go back to the trough after making $33 million over the past two years. And the 49ers seem to be desperate to load up the cannon and compete with the Rams and Seahawks.
With a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon and an emerging star in George Kittle, the 49ers could become immediate contenders if they have Brown on board. Of course, he’d have to be fully and truly on board, committed to avoiding whatever behaviors created problems for him in Pittsburgh, whether real, imagined, or some combination of the two.
Of course, the 49ers may have competition for Brown’s services. The Steelers surely hope that’s the case, since holding an auction for Brown will be the best way for the Steelers to get the most for his contract.