Rice says Antonio Brown, 49ers a perfect fit

In this photo from Dec. 30, 2018, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown stands on the sideline before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says he’s disappointed in the behavior of star wide receiver Antonio Brown but added the team has not received any formal trade request from Brown’s camp. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

Jerry Rice used to break 49ers records. Now, he breaks 49ers news, or creates it.

On Monday, Rice said Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown wants to play for the 49ers “really badly” in 2019. Rice knows because Brown reportedly expressed his desire to Rice on the phone Sunday night.

“This guy, man, he’s a totally complete team player,” Rice said of Brown during an interview on 95.7 The Game. “I don’t know what happened in Pittsburgh, but I know that this guy, if he comes here to San Francisco, he’s going to do everything possible to help this team win.”

Brown, 30, is a controversial player. The Steelers suspended him for their final game of the regular season after he stormed out of a midweek practice and didn’t turn up for three days. The Steelers seem open to trading him despite all he has produced.

“If it was up to me, he’d be here in a heartbeat,” Rice said. “It sends a message to the fans, that, ‘Hey, look, we’re not looking down the road to win. We’re looking to win right now.’ And he’s that type of player — big playmaker that can make those big plays and really put a lot of fans in the stands.”

Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, has gained 9,145 receiving yards the past six seasons. Rice, the greatest receiver of all time, never gained more than 8,759 receiving yards during any six-season stretch of his career. Browns’ stats are extremely impressive.

But, he deserted the Steelers for three days just before their season finale.

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This article has 193 Comments

    1. Checking out the rainy weather outside, I won’t be surprised if he turns on the seat heater of his Tesla this morning on his way to Santa Clara…

        1. Naw, that is a catfish account. He never attacked Cassie, because she likes to haunt my posts.
          .
          Prime promised to leave until the draft. If he came back now, I could rip him for not keeping his word.

  1. Antonio Brown is obviously a Hall of Fame level wide receiver. Any team would be crazy not to look at acquiring him. Kyle Shanahan is one of the best offensive minds in football which is probably why Brown is interested in the 49ers. He knows Shanahan could do wonders for his career and with Brown the 49ers could compete at the highest levels in the NFL. Not sure a locker room diva is a good fit at this point in the 49er rebuild though. Also, I wouldn’t give up a first round pick for a 30 year old WR. Need youth and defense at this point.

        1. I didn’t say anything about the second part because although I agree with that part it seems in direct contradiction to what you stated initially. And what you stated initially was wrong on so many counts…

          I know how to read. Do you know how to write?

          1. AB could retire today and he would be in the HOF. Big Ben is at the end of his career and the Steelers are about to go through quite a bit of change. Moving to the 49ers under Shanahan would provide a better opportunity than the Steelers post Roethlisberger. A few years with Shanahan could add to AB’s legendary career. But for the 49ers acquiring him is probably not worth the cost.. You are truly an idiot. Move along.

            1. The idiot in this scenario is you, as you are merely projecting without any knowledge whatsoever.

              Thanks for proving my point.

              Maybe if you weren’t such a blowhard and slowed down a bit you’d detect your shortcomings. But oh well.

              And with your scenarios you are doing the exact same thing you acuse Grant of doing. Furthermore, you exacerbate it by being repeatedly blind to it. Way to go. Houston, we have a problem!

              1. East, calm down. You are being a pest. While Houston and I are diametrically opposed in many fields, I will be the first to admit he knows way more football than me. He brings a lot to this site and I respect his opinion.
                .
                Stop with the ad hominem attacks, because you are turning into a Prime.
                .
                Some day, you will learn your lesson.

    1. Yeah, youth. Like Pettis. Pettis will get the Niners their 6th SB. Houston said so, and he’s never wrong! Oh wait, he always is? Hmm…

  2. The 49ers have too much invested in Jimmy G to not trade for AB. Like Rice, I trade my 2nd round pick in a heartbeat for him….

    1. The 49ers have too much invested in Jimmy G to not trade for AB

      Have to say this is one of the dumbest comment you ever made on the blog…

      Seriously, because they invested in Jimmy that means they should go all out and spend on a 30 yr old receiver..

      Last time I checked Tom Brady who the patriots had invested so much does not need AB or the best WR in the league to be successful

      Just looking at the 4 teams in the championship games….Saints Thomas is probably the best WR among all the WRs left….

      Why do you always sell yourself short?….

      1. Back off. It certainly is not one of the dumbest comments he has ever made. It is just his opinion.
        .
        We all know the Niners need a number one receiver, and AB fits the bill. Too bad he is older and has some locker room issues.
        .
        Razor just thinks AB would help the Niners to win games. I may differ with his opinion, but it certainly is a legitimate option, especially for only a second round pick.
        .
        Guess you are calling Jerry Rice dumb, too.

        1. Razor is a legend on the blog….unlike you Seb…..he can take it.

          There is nothing wrong with having an opinion to trade for it against AB…..but trying to convince the crowd by suggesting 49ers investment in Jimmy’s is a legit reason to trade for AB is taking it a bit far…..

          1. Hmmmm, Maybe you have not read the scathing denunciations I have been subject to, yet here I am.
            .
            Like a duck in a deluge, it just rolls off my back. I do not let it get to me, and I can take it, smile, and come back for more.
            .
            Usually, I do not defend Razor, but your dumbest comment just begged for a riposte.
            .
            No, it did not go too far. JG needs a number one receiver, so it is not dumb at all. AB is a thousand yard wide receiver, something the Niners have not had for years. I think Boldin was the last one in 2014.

            1. If getting a #1 wr is such a need based on the investment in Jimmy why havnt they tried trade for one since Jimmy signed his contract.. ..

              1. Because KS considered Garcon to be the number one.
                .
                They spent a second and 4th round draft pick to move up to get Pettis.

              2. Seb is right, it was a dumb comment for oneniner to say… to trade for AB is one of his dumbest comments razoreater ever made….then later he makes an opinion ..that by suggesting a trade for AB is taking it a bit far. lol

            2. Oh, Sebs….
              You bring it all on yourself, purposely. You get bored and say something provocative-on purpose.
              You get your chuckles by doing it, and I get mine by watching you try to be clever.

              Your worth millions………..

      2. Not everyone is Tom Brady dude. Folks type stuff like its so easy. Brady doesn’t need an AB. The 2-3 qbs we have on the roster do. And since we haven’t had anyone in the organization that can consistently hit on draft picks over the last decade, why not try for AB?

    2. I agree that they need to invest in a WR1 to maximize the investment in their quarterback; I think that’s what you mean Razor.
      Don’t know that it’s a 30 year old that they should get though. But who wouldn’t love to see AB in open space under this offensive scheme.

      1. I thought it was obvious what I meant. The guys coming off an injury, and he’s the future of the franchise. Let’s get him off the ground and airborne with AB. Protect your investment, and give him every opportunity for success. I for one don’t want to see Jimmy holding on to the ball waiting for a receiver to come open. Let’s keep him upright….

    3. Razor,
      I don’t know if anyone in the Org has asked JG how he feels about the possibility of playing with AB, but it would be hard to believe that he would poo-poo that possibility.

      I would love the idea of having AB but at what cost?
      1. Do we get a WR who may have peaked already?
      2. Do we get a “celebrity” WR who wants to be close to Hollywood?
      I know it’s sacrilegious to disagree with the G.O.A.T (JR), but a “complete total team player” doesn’t disrupt practice the lock room and leave a game at half time whether he’s playing or not.

      Are we getting Antonio Brown the total team player or Antonio Brown the celebrity who is more concerned about his brand?
      We’ve already put huge money on players that have yet to perform. We don’t need to do that again with AB.

    4. Antonio Brown will cost a first, a second, and a fourth. That’ll probably be the Steelers asking price, and not unlikely someone will cough it up.

  3. I’m glad that KS is going to allow Scangarello to interview. Why would any young assistant coach want to come to the 9ers if they are going to block them from moving up? I don’t believe you can blame Kiffin for the 49ers lack of pass rush, they had absolutely no outside pass rusher. Most of us here believe they need to add two outside pass rushers to the roster. If they do add two and there isn’t a significant improvement next season then Kiffin should be gone. Brown is a phenomenal talent the question is , is he also a cancer? I saw Clark express his opinion of Brown and i was sure the team should not sign him, then I watched two other ex Steelers ( I don’t remember their names) speak about Brown and they both laid the blame at Rothlisberger’s feet saying that Brown was an okay guy and now i’m not sure which way the team should go I just hope they do their homework.

    1. Yeah, I saw some former Steelers players saying the same thing about Roethlisberger. Who knows how this drama started but it isn’t a good look that Brown walked out before the last game. Or that he left the last game at halftime. No matter how much of a Delta Bravo Roethlisberger is, it’s hard to look past how Brown handled it.

    2. KS must of watched Grant’s last periscope and realized Grant was right then after that a day or two later he allows him now to interview. lol

  4. There is a good chance that opponents are going to routinely double team the Niners’ #1 receiver, Kittle, on third downs next season. Not convinced that the Pettis-Bourne-Goodwin trio can take that double team away on a consistent basis. Even a diminished Brown (say playing at 70-80% of his peak form) will be helpful. I trust Staley and Rice to gather intel thru the player network about the Brown situation in Pittsburgh. There is always more than what meets the eye (except for Grant, of course, who sees all and knows all)…….

  5. The Niners should just wait, and see if Brown is waived, then pick him up for free.
    .
    However, the Steelers want to trade him to a team of their choice, preferably in the NFC. Still, the Colts may be the eventual landing spot because they have Luck and a ton of cap space.
    .
    Steelers are wanting a first round pick for Brown, but they are trying to trade from a position of weakness. Brown may nix every deal, refuse to report, and demand they cut him. Brown then could sign with the Ravens and play against the Steelers twice a year.
    .
    Both AB and BR were unprofessional, but JL may not want to allow that type of behavior come to the Niners.

    1. Sebbie… So, you’re giving Lynch credit for having the ability to recognize professional/unprofessional behavior? Wow.

      1. Cassie, unlike the stench of Baalke, JL is like a breath of fresh air. Sure, he has made mistakes, but he is trying real hard to turn things around, and change the culture of the team.

  6. Pittsburgh here. A little info on The AB situation.
    Brown and Roethlisberger are both Jerks. Roethlisberger shouldn’t be calling out players in the media, but that doesn’t give Brown the right to skip meetings and practices because his feelings are hurt. He’s immature and he needs to grow a pair, but I think it is too late for that.
    The Steelers are not going to trade AB for a 2nd round pick. They know his value and they hold all the cards. He’s under contract for 3 more years. If they don’t get what they want they’re going to keep him. And if he wants to add to his stat line and get a paycheck he’ll show up next year and play his ass off.
    Everyone in the league knows that AB is a bad route runner (part of the reason Roethlisberger is always criticizing him). He needs a quarterback that improvises not a systems quarterback. He would eat Jimmy G alive.
    You have a good thing going in SF. Be patient. Don’t blow it up over AB.

    1. I agree with Dennis…..we are building brick by brick…..49ers don’t need AB….no doubt he will eat the kool softy JimmyG alive……

      …we all love JR but the fact is he is getting paid to raise this noise…..

    2. I am wondering if the best solution would be the retirement of BR. Then they should mend fences with AB and bring back Bell with the money saved from the retirement of BR.

        1. Everyone can see that his skillsets are diminishing. He will soon be 37, and he threw 16 interceptions last season, missing the playoffs.

          1. Matters very little what you think. Ben and the Steelers organization will determine what lies ahead. Sorry if they don’t consult with you.

    3. You had me believing you really are a Pittsburgh guy Dennis, until you stated Brown was a bad route runner. This has to be one of the most absurd football statements I have ever heard!

      When you aren’t the biggest or the fastest, you don’t accomplish the things AB has accomplished without being a fantastic route runner, first and foremost!

      NFL – Sport Science: “Antonio Brown’s Precise Routes Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is so good at running precise routes that he can do it blindfolded”.

      The Ringer: “At age 30, he is no longer just the best wideout in a golden era for the position.”

      “Antonio Brown is the Best Route Runner in the NFL—Here’s What You Can Learn From Him”

      The Ringer spoke to five Hall of Fame receivers—nearly one-quarter of the wideouts enshrined in Canton—about their feelings on Brown as a player, whether he’s already worthy of a gold jacket, and where he belongs in the position’s all-time pecking order.

      Randy Moss: “I think where he has the advantage [over his peers] is him being a full and a complete wide receiver,” Randy Moss says of Brown. “Where you can move him at in the offense. There’s not a route in the route tree that he cannot run. There isn’t a combination that you can put over there that he cannot do. So, what makes him and separates him from the other wide receivers is what he is able to do for an offense.”

      What does the great Cris Carter think? In Cris Carter’s mind, Brown’s consistency isn’t the byproduct of one singular skill. Over the years, Brown has shown that he can fill any type of receiver role depending on the situation. He’s proved devastating when lining up in the slot, and he’s equally adept at playing outside. In either scenario, he’s the most advanced route runner in football; no other active receiver has more refined footwork or a better feel for how to change speeds to execute concepts. “His overall releases are phenomenal,” Carter says. “Typically, [with] a small guy, you want to bump him to really throw off his timing. But he’s gotten so good as far as his releases [go] that you can’t.”

      The 5 Toughest Receivers I’ve Ever Covered, BY CHRIS HARRIS JR.

      “The Players’ Tribune asked me to break down the best receivers I line up against for their 5 Toughest series. I’m going to try to make this a little more in-depth than what you see on TV.”

      #2 – Antonio Brown: “AB is the best pure route runner in the league. He runs so many different routes with precision, but just like with Gronk, it’s the unpredictable ways Pittsburgh uses him that makes him so difficult to defend. Let me explain what I mean by ‘great route runner.’ It’s not exactly like Madden. Route running is an art, not a science. A lot of wide receivers, they always run their routes at 100% speed. As a DB, that allows you to get a feel for how you need to play them. But Antonio changes up his speed so that you never know what his tempo is going to be coming in and out of his cuts. It’s kind of like in basketball when a point guard uses a little hesitation crossover to freeze the defender before exploding to the hoop.”

      1. This guy Dennis would fit right in as a Grant acolyte — opinions that are strong and wrong!

        BTW, Steelers do not hold any worthwhile cards in this matter. Here’s what team President Art Rooney said: “There’s not much we can do right now; we have time to make a decision,” Rooney told the outlet. “We’ll look at all the options. We’re not going to release him, that’s not on the table. But I will say all other options are on the table. Whether the situation can be reconciled and [we] have him back on the team next year, we’re a long way from thinking that $2,5M of AB’s salary becomes guaranteed in two months.

        As ESPN reported: “The Steelers would absorb $21.12 million in 2019 dead money on the salary cap by trading Brown, but taking his $22.165 million cap charge off the books would offset that cost.” Doesn’t look like much of a pain for the Steelers to jettison Brown for a second or third rounder…

        1. Yes, there would be a net savings of about $1 million, but a cap charge of $21+ mil is still a big hit for a guy not on your roster

          1. I heard a Steeler analyst say that their roster is in decent enough shape to take that cap hit.

            IMO, Rooney made a big mistake talking to that reporter about how the front office felt about the situation internally. A public statement like “We’re not going to release him, that’s not on the table”, immediately reveals that their sights are set very high on the trade draft pick.

            The Steelers have their back against the wall having effectively declared Brown persona non grata, and the clock is ticking with $2.5M of AB’s salary becoming guaranteed in just over two months.

            1. Actually, I was mistaken. They already have $27 mil in cap space available even with him on the team and that goes up to $28 mil if they trade him.

              That being said, I’m not trading the #2 pick for him, but something else like a 2nd or 3rd and a high pick next year would be a tad more digestible.

              Brown with Kittle and Pettis could be fun

              1. Niners’s second is almost a low first. I think Niners third this year and a conditional fourth round next year would be more appropriate IMO…..

                I’m not as down on AB as some of the others here. This blowup seems to me to be the very end point of some long simmering issue between AB and the QB and maybe even some coaching staff. Brown does not seem to be a chronic malcontent or an immature jerk. The receiver set for the Niners will propel their offense to top 3 if the players can stay healthy.

                However, I think the Niners will not go that route because they are not sure of what they can do with the players they have now (unlike in defense) because of the injuries.

        2. Yah, I about spit my coffee out reading Dennis’ claim that “everyone in the league knows that AB is a bad route runner”

          I mean, I have read some laughable statements on this blog, but for some reason this one tickled my funny bone like few others have. I mean, it’s widely known throughout the league that one of the things that makes AB so special, is his dynamic route running. Of course he has some of the best hands in the league, he’s phenomenal at tracking the ball, he’s tough, and he’s as clever as they come, but … it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that, at 5’10” 190 lbs, and excellent, but not exactly elite long speed (4.47 40 at combine), you better be a really good route runner if you want to be productive at the NFL level. If you polled every Hall Of Fame WR, and asked who they thought was the best route runner in the NFL, I guarantee you Antonio Brown would be the consensus choice.

          As for leverage, I think you are right Mood. Seems to me that Rooney understands that the Steelers don’t have a ton of leverage, or why else would he be so quick to make public statements about a trade being on the table?

          However, I don’t think anything is likely to happen very quickly.

          Honestly, if the 49ers can land AB for perhaps anything less than a 1st round pick, I’d be all over that trade in a heartbeat. How often does a team have get an opportunity to land a future HOF WR who is pretty much still in his prime, have enough cap space to make it happen, and also have that WR be so eager to play for them?

          I’m with the GOAT #80 on this one for sure! ShanaLynch need to play the long game while making it clear to the Steelers that they are interested for the right price. And I am sure the Steelers would prefer he was traded outside of the AFC.

      2. Thank you for summing up, with evidence and facts, my same reaction that Dennis was full of it in saying Brown was a bad route runner.

    4. Dennis, I think you’re probably right that Ben and Antonio are both jerks. But Brown is one of the best route runners in the NFL. And I don’t see that you need someone who can improvise. A guy like Shanahan can scheme plays specifically for Brown. Barring injury I think Brown could potentially have a few career years in Shanahanh’s offense. Having said that, I’m not really in favor of signing him. He’s a great player but I think you’d have to give up too much to get him. If I’m the Steelers, I’m looking for QB1 type draft capital to obtain the HOF level WR under contract with me. Just too high a cost.

    5. “not a good route runner”
      Think you may have mixed up Green Bay and the Steelers. The Packers are the team that rely on improv, Dennis.

  7. If Rice played with the NFL rules of today….he’d have put up over 10k during that same time.

    Niners should not give up anything more than a 2nd round pick for him.

    1. naah, Baldy-Schmaldy’s got no cred — Grant prefers to thank anonymous knowledge providers named “Dennis” for insights on Brown’s route running woes.

  8. TYVM, Grant.
    .
    I hope you can give us some updates on who the Niners are looking at for Defensive Backs Coach, and if they have interviewed anyone.

        1. Brown is Z just like Goodwin and Pettis. They could move one of them to the X and Goodwin to the slot but that would be playing at least one out of their best position.

            1. I don’t recall but he’s better as a Z with his size imo. We already have two of them on the roster who also happen to be our best WR’s. What we really need is an X if Garcon is released. Chris Conley has been a guy I’ve focused on if that happens. Bourne also improved enough where he’ll likely get a shot.

    1. Both of those guys would be perfect fits in Shanny’s offense. Won’t happen but nice thought. The guy I’d love to see the 49ers draft is David Montgomery. He was born to play RB in Shanny’s offense. He’ll be gone by the time the 49ers could draft him but he is a great fit.

  9. Giving up a second round pick for a 30 year old Antonio Brown would be just as dumb as giving up a first round pick for a 29 year old Fred Dean as Bill Walsh did in 1981.

  10. Skip AB and other good offseason advice.

    1. I’ve had him on my fantasy team 3 of the last 5 years. Obviously he has skills, but we are now on the back end of the talent curve plus locker room attitude issues. Diminishing returns from here on out.

    2. Pick 2 should be Bosa or Josh Allen. Let’s not F up another top 5 pick please.

    3. Sign Earl Thomas

    4. Draft Stanford WR JJ whiteside in 2nd. Trade up to late 1st if necessary. JJ Whiteside, Pettis , Richie James and Kittle would a formidable receiving corps.

    5. There are several good G and interior O lineman available in FA. Get one or maybe 2.

    1. Funny you talk about being on the back end of the talent curve and locker room issues for Antonio Brown but you advocate signing Earl Thomas. Thomas flipped off his entire team coming off the field after his injury and he will be 30 during the next league year. If the 49ers skip AB they should skip ET for the same reasons.

      1. Fair point, but the cost of acquiring ET is much less than AB. We can sign ET to a year/ year incentive based contract not unlike Sherman and draft a developmental S.

      2. I don’t think the two situations compare Houston. The Seahawks were forcing Thomas to play out his final year and wouldn’t negotiate an extension or trade him. He didn’t flip off his teammates and they supported him. That was a big F*ck you to the Coach and GM for putting him in a bad situation. Brown is just a self absorbed me first player who only cares about his personal stats. Big difference between the two.

        1. @Rocket, You may be right but do you think a guy who flips off the Coach and GM on live TV is conducive to a harmonic locker room that bought into implementing the kind of culture an organization needs for long term success.

          @RT you are correct on the cost. I’m assuming the Steelers are going to ask for a Ricky Williams type trade which obviously isn’t worth it. I just think a smallish safety like Thomas is going to be one of those guys whose level of play drops off a cliff when he hits a certain age because of all the years of incredibly physical play. Think Ed Reed from his year in Houston.

          1. Thomas has always been a leader for the Seahawks so I’m not worried about his ability to fit into the culture. I agree he could have handled himself a little more maturely in that situation, but I also understand why he would have been angry and frustrated to the point of acting out. The Seahawks really screwed him and it couldn’t have ended any worse.

              1. Not sure you’d have to ask them. A writer in Seattle guessed that it was because they’ve gotten burned by players getting 3rd contracts the past couple of years and/or they decided to go younger across the board. Whatever the case, Thomas was still playing at a high level and the injury he suffered is not a long term problem. Seattle and SF are in different situations. Seattle had cap issues and age on the roster and made moves to rectify it. The Niners are young, need better players and have a ton of cap room.

        2. And that middle finger meant screw Dallas. I’m going to San Francisco so I can punish you for two games a year.
          That is my “take it to the bank” signing this year. They probably have the details worked out already.
          (Sarcasm) on the deal worked out Seb. 😛

      3. That’s another head scratcher 🙉….why do we need Earl T…….why even talk about a 30yr old FS coming off leg injury ……..we have a talented group of safeties and can be better through the draft……we already have one player coach uncle on defense

        Are we really that desperate for mediocre?…..where is the brick by brick vision…..

        After 2 yrs… I just pray Lynch and Kyle show much patience when it comes to yr 3 decisions….

  11. I already commented on this yesterday in another thread but for those that think we would be getting Brown in his prime, you might want to rethink that:

    https://www.actionnetwork.com/nfl/antonio-brown-fantasy-football-hidden-struggles-2018-season-pittsburgh-steelers-matthew-freedman

    Now nobody is saying he sucks or can’t help a team, but he’s going to be 31 when the offseason begins and players don’t improve with age, so there is a very good chance Brown has started to regress. Would he help the Niners on the field? Certainly, but how much and is it worth the headaches he brings off the field? I get the excitement over acquiring one of the best players in the game, but we may be paying more for the name at this point than the production and he plays the same spot as the two best WR’s already on the roster.

    I’d pass and try to use the 2nd round pick to get more picks with a trade down. This team isn’t ready to contend which is why you usually make a move like this. They need to add some more draft talent and sign some difference makers on the defensive side more than add another Z receiver imo.

      1. Didn’t realize I had an audience, but the goal is always to explain a point in such a way that it’s easy to grasp. Looks like I succeeded.

  12. Hmm…

    Who would any self respecting mink coat wearing man prefer to catch passes from: Jimmy GQ or Ben Serial-Rapist-Berger?

    Seems a pretty obvious choice….

  13. I wonder how Scangarello’s interview went. Elway is saying that Keenum may only be a short term fix, and Kubiak has moved on to Minnesota.

  14. The inaugural Alliance of American Football season begins in a few weeks. Yeah, yeah, who gives a flying one….

    All it takes are eye-popping plays from a few players and some members of this blog will go nuts, wanting so and so to be invited to camp. Count on it.

    Gonna be fun.

  15. Would be an amazing story if the 49ers hired Gary Kubiak as the QB Coach or OC. That would be full circle for Kubiak. Kubiak was the QB Coach under Mike Shanahan as the OC in the 49ers last SuperBowl win in 94. Can you imagine Kubiak returning to San Francisco and winning a Superbowl coaching with the son of his mentor. Kubiak is a fantastic offensive coach and he’s an even better person. Tough, fair, direct, and exceptionally knowledgeable about offensive football. I doubt Shanahan would give up play calling but wonder if he would hire Kubiak as a QB Coach or even OC if Scangarello leaves.

    1. I wonder if Elway got to interview Scangarello because the Niners got to interview Woods.
      .
      I sure hope the Niners find a Defensive Backs Coach before the Bengals and Dolphins staffs get assembled.

  16. Would the Steelers take Mullins and a 3rd or 4th round pick? Rothlisbereger is no spring chicken. Like Jack said above watching Kittle, Pettis, Brown along with the 9ers RB’s could be fun.

  17. The 49ers got Boldin on the ultra cheap because the Ravens were in salary cap hell. The Brown situation is different. The Steelers have good cap space, and Brown is a hotter commodity at this point of his career.

    But he’s still a huge cap hit. Echoing 2016’s Kirk Cousins debate, its the total purchase price (picks+cap) that matters. Notice Brown’s balloon cap hit starting in 2019
    https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers/antonio-brown-6702/

    The Steelers have no choice. They have to trade Brown. The picks given up to acquire Brown is based more on what other teams are offering, less on what the Steelers think he’s worth.

    Also notice how little his salary is roster bonuses. A huge risk for a known hothead.

  18. Forty Niners

    A contemporary musical produced by Grant Cohn, written by his many minions… Tells the rollicking, bare knuckles story of the inept 49ers of the NFL as they struggle to find relevance and forge a return to Super Bowl glory. Has a rich vibe reminiscent of West Side Story, Les Mis, Rent, Sweeney Todd, and Hairspray.

  19. Good write-up Grant, but you left out that Rothelisburger has been dogging Brown during team meetings throughout the year. It is hard to say who is at fault (from my viewpoint they both are at fault, but that is just my take), but it is fairly clear that Rothelisburger and Brown need to be separated at this point.
    If the 49ers can get a deal done involving just a second round pick or the second round pick from this and next year, then I think they should do so because they stand a good chance of getting someone who would not make the same impact or difference than Brown would.

  20. One of the great national sports traditions is championship teams visiting the Whitehouse and meeting the president. Yesterday was no exception as the Clemson Tigers were honored guests and were able to enjoy a feast of McDonalds, Burger Kings (sic) and Pizza.

    Classy all the way.

    https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/1/15/18183617/trump-clemson-mcdonalds-burger-king-wendys-dominos

    Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House. Because of the Shutdown I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamberders etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2019

    1. About as newsworthy as everyone knowing that I sneezed today. If Swinney and the players attending saw no problem in the food served, then that is all that needs to be known about it.

      1. I agree with MID….

        Federal judge sides with Trump, allowing workers to go unpaid during shutdown………

        is much newsworthy

    2. ahhh the Big Mac scandal. All I know is if I had been on a strict athletes diet for many months and I just won the national championship I would be all over some burgers. I’ll take one of each, fries, and a milkshake.

    3. Hmmmm I’m a 300 plus pound athlete.
      Do you really think I’m going to complain about what is given to me to eat?
      Burgers and pizza? I’m not a 300 pound athlete and I’d take that in a heartbeat.
      You thirsty bruh.
      Who cares I couldn’t stand Obama but if high five him if he did this too.
      Frankie says………

  21. Absolutely do what it takes to get the best Wr in the game without giving up the second overall pick. The second overall pick will be used to trade down and acquiring more picks. With a good free agency and a soild draft adding AB puts SF in the SB conversation. This is a no brainer.

  22. Anyone notice Brown’s massive increase in pay and cap hit for 2019?
    https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers/antonio-brown-6702

    (If he was on his rookie contract he’d be kissing s Roethlisberger, not throwing balls at them)

    The Steelers have decent cap space, so that gives them a little leverage. But they have major balloon payments due for an unstable hothead. The market has greater leverage than the Steelers own valuation.

    If the most any team offers is a 1rst rounder, the Steelers will take it
    If the most any team offers is a 2nd rounder, the Steelers will take it
    and so on…

    Regardless of cap space, Brown’s baloon payments are such a cap cost demila, I could see the Steelers letting him go for a high 3rd (if there were no better offers)

    I’m guessing the Steelers get a 2nd and change, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it was a 1rst or 3rd.

  23. Steelers at +1500 are part of a 4 way tie for 10th likeliest team Brown plays for next year, while the 49ers are the favorites at +200….

    1. It will be interesting to see which team throws the Steelers a cap cost life preserver.

      He’s a fantastic receiver. Major first round talent. His 2019 cap balloon increase doesn’t mean don’t trade for him. But it does affect what teams will be willing to trade for him.

        1. Yes. His production is well worth the cap hit. His production is well worth high draft picks. He’s fantastic.

          But what combination of pick/salary? How much does his 2019 massive balloon payments subtract from what your willing to trade in picks?

    1. Hard to say because Brown wouldn’t be as good as he is now early on in a rookie deal, but if you are asking the question based on knowing he would be this good, I’d give up a 1st and a 2nd the following year for him if he was still on his rookie deal. I wouldn’t trade for him now because he’s only headed downward performance wise and is a bad teammate with a poor attitude. The only WR I’d probably trade for at this point would be OBJ and even then it’s not a slam dunk because his attitude isn’t the best either. I’d probably do it anyway though due to his age and production.

      1. rocket – thank you!

        My question was less about Brown per se, and more more about the value of cap cash relative to draft picks. I should have framed the question more clearly.

        I posed the question because whenever major trades are discussed fans talk about draft picks, or contract costs. But rarely both at the same time.

        1. No problem B2W. I get what you are looking for after reading your post below. I’d agree with a 3rd in this case, but the contract itself isn’t an issue, in fact it’s pretty team friendly after this season as long as Brown plays at the level he has previously. The issue is what you give up for a player who the metrics say is declining and who has a history of being a problem in the locker room? That’s where my interest turns to no thanks. This is a young team that needs a lot more than another WR similar to what we already have (yes he’s better but by how much will be the question), and who has an attitude non conducive to a healthy locker room.

          1. rocket – All very good points. I’d see Brown being most valuable to a team poised to make a deep 2019 playoff run.

    2. I think a second round pick is fair for both scenarios. On the rookie contract, we would not know what production he could have, but he would be young with tons of potential. As a grizzled veteran, a second is fair if one takes into consideration JG’s contract. Steelers are looking for a first, but they are in a weak negotiating position. The longer it goes, the weaker they get. They may end up with a 3rd, because no team will want to do them favors. AB could finish out his present contract, and would give good value with thousand yard seasons.
      .
      The more I think about it, the more I think the Steelers are to blame. They went through the Le’veon Bell fiasco, and that probably disrupted the locker room. Maybe AB would benefit by going to a new situation, and have a blank slate.
      .
      However, before they trade for him, they would have to make sure he understands about proper locker room protocols and expectations.

    3. A player with Brown’s talent with three years remaining on cheap rookie deal with no behavior issues – Top 10 draft pick

      A player with Brown’s talent with three years remaining on cheap rookie deal with current behavior issues – Pick 25 or later range draft pick

      Brown on current deal with balloon contract and recent behavior issues – Third round pick at the highest

      Summary: I’m subtracting the value of his cap costs at about 450 trade chart points.

  24. On NN, they had a mock, with the Niners trading back with the Jags. I wonder where they saw that scenario before? ;p
    .
    Looking at the top draft picks in the first round, the first seven could be, with a Niner trade back-
    .
    Cards- Nick Bosa DE
    Jags- Kyler Murray QB
    Jets- Greg Little OT
    Raiders- Quinnen Williams DT
    TB- Jonah Williams OT
    Giants- Dwayne Haskins QB
    Niners- Josh Allen

    1. As I’ve said before, I would be good with Josh Allen.

      I touted Tremaine Edmunds last season because of his versatility and I feel the same way about Allen.
      Allen can cover many defensive packages with his great athletic ability and field range.
      I also feel Allen is better than Edmunds because he’s more instinctive.

  25. 49ers hiring Kris Kocurek as defensive line coach, per report
    By KIRK LARRABEEMon Jan 14 2019

    Known for his work in molding pass rushers, Kocurek is credited with helping the Lions’ defensive linemen rack up 250 sacks from 2010 to 2017, which was the fourth-highest total in the league for a dhttps://247sports.com/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/Article/49ers-hiring-Kris-Kocurek-as-defensive-line-coach-per-report-127830570efensive line unit in that time span,

  26. sebnynah says:
    January 11, 2019 at 10:19 pm
    KS is blocking coaches from getting a promotion? How churlish.

    #80 says:
    January 11, 2019 at 10:37 pm
    How do you know that the coaches want to leave? They might want to stay without having to say no to a team that they might work for in the future. Scangarello refusing to interview with Denver could be seen as churlish.

    MidWestDynasty says:
    January 12, 2019 at 1:52 pm
    Never once said that Seb, but if you think Shanahan will feel the the heat from posters who can easily be swayed by a win or two and writers who are generally trying to garner attention, then you are thinking like a fool. Shanahan will feel the heat only if players stop buying into his message and the wins continue to elude them in the third season.

    49reasons. says:
    January 12, 2019 at 11:10 am
    Seb, there is far more going on behind the scenes than you are aware of, so I don’t know why you feel the need to weigh in on things you know very little about.

    This whole thing about the 49ers blocking their assistant coaches from taking positions on other teams, while under contract

    sebnynah says:
    January 12, 2019 at 2:55 pm
    Yes, there are no words for you, so you just parrot.
    Originality is the soul of wit. Too bad you have neither.

    Seb, I agreed with your state’s use of the marijuana laws–we had a nice converesation on the medicianal benefits as well as the alcohol vs. marijuana angle. But I have to maintain my 1st amendment rights when you cause media traffic to come to a scrrreeching halt on this site (you mentioned Prime–I can not speak for him), however, I am stepping in to defend Shanahan vs. your’s and Grant’s coach bashing!

    The evidence is before you. In any job, you have to honor a contract unless an opt out clause/ or other exists.

    1. Also, I thought you would “ring in the new year” by honoring past resolutions of decorum. Thus far, your are o for one on that count with your latest salvo at an honest detractor:

      sebnynah says:
      January 12, 2019 at 2:55 pm
      Yes, there are no words for you, so you just parrot.
      Originality is the soul of wit. Too bad you have neither.

      Even you, Seb, have to concede, #80 and Midwest were only trying to educate you…(Reading is fundamental).

      1. Oh, poor East, did I make him cry? I am extremely sorry, and will try to be nicer to him, since he must be so thin skinned. ;p
        .
        I really respect #80 and Mid, because they can can cogently formulate an argument and know lots about football. They are also big boys, and can take it.

          1. No, no, some one said I unleashed a salvo on an honest detractor. Guess it was a crushing blow. and made you cry in pain.
            .
            Some one wise was ‘saying crying and laughing, you know its the same release. Laughing it all away.’

    1. I wouldn’t do that deal. If the Giants want to swap and hand over OBJr., then I’m all for that deal or if the Jags want to swap and give up Ramsey or the Broncos swap and send us Miller. 😉😁

  27. 49ers hiring longtime defensive coach Joe Woods to be passing game coordinator, per report
    By David Bonilla
    30 mins ago • 0 comments

  28. The lastest coaching hires suggest Niners #1 pick will be D-Line while throwing Shanahan later round picks on offense. Smart moves.

  29. Sigh, here we go again.
    .
    I only mentioned Prime because of some good natured ribbing from AES. I certainly think it was a catfish account because Prime usually devolves into insults and expletives.
    .
    Yes, I will still call it churlish to block a career advancement. Bill Walsh NEVER blocked a career advancement, because he was a victim of being held back for years. Thankfully, KS did allow Scangarello to interview, and he is now the odds on favorite to be the new OC. I have criticized him, but I have also praised KS for allowing Scangarello to interview.
    .
    Go ahead, defend a 4-12 HC and absolve him of any blame. KS himself admitted he should have won 3 more games. I want to point out his shortcomings so he can learn from them, and avoid them in the future.
    .
    I am blocking media traffic? There are 144 on this blog today, and past posts have generated 422, 552, 385 and 445 comments. My presence is hardly an impediment, and since the trolls are not being gadflies, I think we have had some civil, informative conversations.

    1. Yr,1. Once again, Seb, and remember, TomD (not troll d) stated that 2 years ago Shanny got a late start at the coaching hires, having had to coach for ATL in the Superbowl, by the time he was officially on board the 49ers, the quality coaches were gone….

      Yr, 2. He cleaned house of all but 8 Baalke leftovers to build a foundation.
      Yr, 3. Year 3—-(THIS YEAR, SEB ) is the year to start judging him. And now that he has a chance at some quality coaches, he has struck early….This from Nick Waggoner:

      Nick Wagoner

      Verified account

      @nwagoner
      Follow Follow @nwagoner
      More
      Mentioned in that story, Kyle Shanahan once pushed his father Mike to hire Woods as a position coach to promote him from defensive quality control coach. Shanahan has long thought highly of Woods.

      4:39 PM – 15 Jan 2019

      Nick Wagoner

      Verified account

      @nwagoner
      6m6 minutes ago
      More Nick Wagoner Retweeted Mike Garafolo
      Joe Woods and Kyle Shanahan were together in Tampa early in Shanahan’s career. Broncos played a lot of man but Woods well versed in zone — particularly Tampa 2. I wrote about how Shanahan learned lots of defensive principles in Tampa here… http://www.espn.com/blog/san-francisco-49ers/post/_/id/32825/how-jon-gruden-raised-a-generation-of-coaches-at-the-rat-infested-woodshed

    1. If Scangarello leaves, I wonder how KS will fill out his coaching staff.
      .
      I am glad that Woods is aboard, because he brings DC experience that may help Saleh.

  30. From Grant’s recent Tweet…

    The 49ers defense now has a coordinator, a passing-game coordinator and a pass-rush specialist. Three competing voices and philosophies. What could go wrong?

    Rip away Grant. Lynch and Shanahan are morons, no?

    Grant… When are you interviewing Denise–the one who’s ultimately responsible for the organization’s idiotic behavior?

    1. What else would you expect? Of course these Coaches don’t see eye to eye and will talk over and battle each other causing chaos in the meeting rooms leading to the worst performance by a defense in the modern history of the game. Shanahan IS that stupid.

      1. From Joe Woods’ Wikipedia page:

        Oakland Raiders

        Woods coached the Raiders’ defensive backs in 2014, working with veteran safety Charles Woodson, who led the team with 160 tackles (105 solo) and four interceptions in his 17th NFL season.

        Denver Broncos

        In Woods’ first season coaching the Broncos’ secondary in 2015, Denver finished first in the NFL against the pass (199.6 ypg) while the defensive backfield accounted for 11 interceptions, 56 passes defensed, nine forced fumbles and four touchdowns. The Broncos posted three interceptions against just one passing touchdown allowed during Denver’s postseason run that ended with a victory in Super Bowl 50. In 2016, the Broncos’ secondary held opponents to the fewest yards per game (185.8), yards per attempt (5.8) and passing touchdowns (13) in the NFL.

        After the departure of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, Woods was chosen to be promoted to defensive coordinator for the 2017 season. Denver finished first in the NFL in pass defense in both 2015 (199.6 ypg) and 2016 (185.8) with Woods coaching the team’s defensive backs. All four of Denver’s starting defensive backs made at least one Pro Bowl playing for Woods from 2015-16, including cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr. (2015-16) and Aqib Talib (2015-16), who were also named first-team All-Pro selections by the Associated Press in 2016. Safeties T.J. Ward (2015) and Darian Stewart (2016) also earned Pro Bowl recognitions while playing for Woods.

        In Woods’ first season as defensive coordinator in 2017, the Broncos finished third in the NFL in total defense, giving up just 290.0 yards per game. The Broncos’ fifth-ranked run defense in 2017 was particularly impressive as it improved by more than 40 yards per game after finishing 28th in the NFL in 2016.

        Yep, sure seems like an awful hire. 😋

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