San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said Sunday the team was "aggressive" in its pursuit of former New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. but that the Niners were hesitant to include the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft as part of a trade.
"We were definitely in it," he said. "We were aggressive. But I think [the Giants] wanted different things than we had to offer. I think it would have been very hard for us to just give up a first-round pick and not get a ton in return, other than just the player, knowing that the second pick in the draft is a very, very valuable pick."
The Browns announced March 13 they received Beckham and defensive end Olivier Vernon from the Giants for guard Kevin Zeitler, safety Jabrill Peppers and the Nos. 17 and 95 selections in the 2019 draft.
After the second pick, the Niners' next selection comes at No. 36. The value differential between those two choices seemingly created a major hurdle in the team's efforts to land Beckham.
San Francisco remains in the market for a legitimate No. 1 receiver as it prepares for the return of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who missed most of the 2018 season with a torn ACL.
Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis are the team's projected starters at the position, and it's one of the roster's biggest areas of need in the remainder of free agency and the draft.
Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, could have filled that void, but York and Co. felt keeping the second pick was more important.