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49ers did due diligence, called Vikings about Justin Jefferson trade

The 49ers aren’t lying when they say they’re always looking to do anything they can to make their team better. That’s why it isn’t a huge surprise to find out they were one of several teams that reached out to the Minnesota Vikings about trading for wide receiver Justin Jefferson in the midst of his contract negotiations.

Adam Schefter on his podcast mentioned San Francisco as one of a slew of teams that got on the phone with the Vikings during the draft to inquire about Jefferson’s availability.

“Some teams reached out,” Schefter said. “The New York Jets reached out about Justin Jefferson. The Indianapolis Colts reached out about Justin Jefferson. You know that? The 49ers reached out about Justin Jefferson. You know that?”

Any overtures were swiftly denied by the Vikings according to Schefter. It’s not clear what the 49ers were willing to offer for Jefferson since the Vikings never let talks get that far.

When there’s even a hint of an elite player like Jefferson being available it’s every general manager’s job to get on the phone and call that player’s team. It’s the due diligence we hear about so often from front offices.

Perhaps there was some hang-up in negotiations and the Vikings are willing to move him for a couple of first-round picks. While it’s unlikely, teams won’t know until they make a phone call.

This is instructive when it comes to the 49ers’ conversations before and during the draft about wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. Fielding those calls and trying to squeeze a fleecing out of another team in an effort to make the team better is part of the deal when it comes to team-building. There’s not a desire to get rid of the players, but rather a desire to ensure all bases are covered when going through an offseason.

It also tells us the 49ers are ready to give another wide receiver a big deal. Jefferson wound up getting a contract with more than $88 million guaranteed across four seasons. It reset the market and San Francisco was trying to find out if that player was available. Aiyuk’s contract will come in under what Jefferson got, which provides optimism that there’s room for an Aiyuk deal at some point this offseason.

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire