Almost a month ago, the Browns and Giants pulled off a blockbuster when they agreed to a trade that sent Odell Beckham -- one of the game's top receivers in the prime of his career -- to Cleveland less than a year after he signed a long-term extension to remain in New York. The deal shocked the NFL world, including Beckham himself, but the 49ers might've been more surprised than anyone and everyone else.

On Sunday, ESPN's Pat McManamon and Jordan Raanan dropped an in-depth feature on how the Beckham trade came together. In that story, ESPN detailed how the 49ers were "the most active suitor" before the Browns got involved and how they "had a deep interest in trying to complete a trade for Beckham." Nobody should be surprised by that much considering 49ers general manager John Lynch has spoken publicly about his efforts to land Beckham. 

What should be surprising, however, is that after the Browns made their offer to the Giants, the 49ers weren't given a chance to beat what wound up being the winning offer (the 17th pick, 95th pick, and safety Jabrill Peppers). And according to ESPN, the 49ers likely would've been willing to offer the Giants a better package

But the Giants never called:

The 49ers were stunned. Lynch and Gettleman had multiple conversations spanning weeks. Despite the 49ers monitoring the situation closely, they ultimately never heard from the Giants before the trade was made. Gettleman's contact with Lynch ended the days prior to the conversations with Cleveland. It's strongly believed the 49ers would have been willing to offer more for a wide receiver of Beckham's stature, according to a league source.

It's not difficult to understand why the 49ers so desperately wanted Beckham. With Jimmy Garoppolo returning from a torn ACL, the 49ers have their sights set on a playoff run. They're operating in win-now mode. Beckham might've been the piece that pushed them over the hump. And with the No. 2 pick, the 49ers should be able to add another impact player in this year's draft. 

Lynch has said the 49ers weren't willing to give up that pick for Beckham. But as ESPN reported, the 49ers were willing to swap first-round picks with the Giants, who hold the sixth-overall pick. According to ESPN, the Giants also discussed including 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner in a deal, but the 49ers didn't want to move him.

While the 49ers didn't give the Giants their best offer during discussions, "they believed their best offer had yet to come," ESPN reported. In other words, the 49ers figured they had time to put together a better offer. They were being patient. That's why they were so stunned when the Giants completed their trade with the Browns without giving them a chance to beat the Browns' offer. 

From the 49ers' perspective, it's a disappointing way to lose out on a premier player. Remember, the 49ers also thought they'd beaten the Bears' offer for Khalil Mack last year, but the Raiders sent the star pass rusher to Chicago instead of across the Bay. So, make that two devastating losses in the trade market in roughly half a year. 

But the most important takeaway is that the Giants might've seriously hurt themselves if they really didn't try to secure the best possible offer for a player of Beckham's magnitude. This is the same team that openly admitted they didn't even listen to trade offers for the No. 2 pick in last year's draft, which they used on running back Saquon Barkley even though they've yet to initiate a succession plan at quarterback as Eli Manning, 38, enters yet another season as their underperforming starter. A year later, they reportedly didn't give potential suitors the opportunity to beat the Browns' offer for Beckham. 

So, why did the Giants finalize the trade with the Browns so quickly? ESPN's story definitely makes it sound like it had a lot do with the friendship between Browns general manager John Dorsey and Giants general manager Dave Gettleman. 

"You have to know who you're dealing with," an NFL general manager told ESPN. "Dave and John know each other so well there is total trust between them."

It's absolute malpractice. We already gave the Giants an F for the trade the day it went down even before we know about the way in which the trade came together. The trade now looks even worse a month later. 

The result (losing their best player) was bad. The process (not calling the 49ers) was somehow even worse.