Matt Barrows of The Athletic believes the 49ers would jump at the chance to trade for Odell Beckham Jr. if the Giants actually make him available, but Barrows is more skeptical about San Francisco’s interest in Antonio Brown. It has been rumored that Brown’s preferred destination is the 49ers, but Barrows says San Francisco would only be a serious suitor for Brown if the Steelers’ trade demands are modest. Of course, we recently heard that Pittsburgh may not get more than a third-round pick for AB, so maybe that is modest enough for the Niners to take the plunge.
Now for more from around the NFL (and XFL):
- In the same piece linked above, Barrows writes that the 49ers must re-sign guard Mike Person, and he says the club plans to meet with Person’s agent at the Scouting Combine this week.
- Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the Giants are expected to hire Everett Withers as their new DBs coach. Withers spent the last three seasons as the head coach of Texas State and had previously agreed to become the defensive coordinator for Florida International in 2019. He will take over for Lou Anarumo, who left Big Blue to become the Bengals’ DC.
- Former Bengals RBs coach Kyle Caskey will join the Lions in the same capacity, per Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network (via Twitter). It is a logical hire for Detroit, as Caskey did good work in his five years coaching Cincinnati’s running backs.
- Colts WR Marcus Johnson, an exclusive rights free agent, has been cleared to resume football activities, Johnson himself tweeted. Johnson was placed on IR in October.
- Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons is not at this week’s Scouting Combine in Indianapolis due to his surgery to repair a torn ACL (plus, while he would have been permitted to participate in limited interviews and undergo medical testing, he was banned from participating in drills). However, Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network tweets that Simmons will attend the medical recheck in Indianapolis in April, which will give interested clubs the chance to see how his recovery is progressing.
- Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out an odd quirk in the league’s rule concerning a prospect’s eligibility to fully participate in the Scouting Combine. Since the ban on drills that players like Simmons have faced only encompasses convictions, that means that players who have not been convicted of a crime but who are still facing potentially serious charges — like Wyoming DE Carl Granderson — are allowed to participate in all aspects of the Combine. Of course, current NFL players may face league discipline even if they avoid legal repercussions for their misdeeds, so Florio believes the rule banning prospects only if they have been convicted of a crime should be eliminated.
- Appearing on The Mighty 1090 (audio link), draft guru Tony Pauline expressed his belief that Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray will definitely be drafted in the first round; it is merely a question of where in the first round he will fall.
- Former Redskins head coach Jim Zorn, who also served as the quarterbacks coach for five different NFL clubs, has been named the head coach and GM of the XFL’s Seattle franchise, the league announced via Twitter.