Rice: ‘When you’ve got a player like an AB or an OBJ, you’ve got to get that guy’

Legendary Niner receiver calls into ‘Joe, Lo & Dibs’ to recap opening of NFL offseason

Karl Buscheck
March 15, 2019 - 10:35 am

Jerry Rice joined “Joe, Lo & Dibs” on Friday to recap a busy opening week of NFL free agency and trades.

Rice had a lot to say regarding the players the Niners did (and didn’t) land, beginning with Antonio Brown. The Raiders ended up snatching up the ex-Steeler who Rice had, unsuccessfully, attempted to recruit to Santa Clara.

"I haven't had a chance to talk to AB,” Rice said. “But you know I'm sure he's happy about being in the Bay Area…

“I wish him the best and I think he’s going to have a great, great opportunity over there in the silver and black,” Rice continued. And, he’s a competitor, man, and  I wish him the best.”

Asked for his assessment of the 49ers’ offseason, to this point, Rice said he likes what he’s seeing, at least on the defensive side of the ball.

“I’m still going to trust the plan,” Rice said. “I’m surprised that we didn’t go after AB or Odell Beckham (Jr.). You look at this defense and what they’re doing right now with Dee Ford — I think he’s probably going to be playing at defensive end… then Kwon Alexander.”

“They’re really beefing that defense up. If they can get (Nick) Bosa or (Josh) Allen or Quinnen Williams or something like that around the second pick, I feel like you win championships with defense and this defense is going to be ready to go…”

When it comes to the OBJ trade, which sent the superstar receiver to Cleveland, Rice had nothing but praise for the Browns, the NFL’s trendiest upstart.

“Man, what a trade. What a trade,” Rice marveled.

“That really puts Cleveland right up there. They got their quarterback now they got two good receivers. They got (Kareem) Hunt. So, this offense is going to be crazy next year.”

“And I have to take my hat off to them because, yeah, I know they talk about receivers being divas and stuff like that, but when you’ve got a player like an AB or an Odell Beckham, you’ve got to get that guy.”

“And I think Cleveland did a great job of doing that and they’re going to be very exciting next year.”

The receiver the 49ers did add is  Jordan Matthews, whose mom is Rice’s cousin.

“He’s going to get open. He’s going to catch the ball and he’s also a blocker down field,” Rice said of the 27-year-old.

Matthews, who drew just 28 targets last year for the Eagles (a career low), was the No. 42 overall pick back in 2014.

“He’s one of those blue-collar workers that’s going to get in there and grind,” Rice added. “He’s going to make those difficult catches and I’m sure he’s excited about his opportunity here in San Francisco.”

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