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49ers Have Free Agent Options at Wide Receiver

Posted Mar 19, 2014

Veterans with checkered resumes, including ex-San Francisco wideout Josh Morgan, remain available and ripe for the picking should San Francisco choose to explore the market.


The free agents with the fewer question marks sign their contracts first.

The available players with less answers come later.

PHOTOS: NFL's Top 100 Free Agents

With the NFL's signing period into its second week, it's worth considering what's left in the cupboard.

Ostensibly, the 49ers have a need at the wide receiver position.

Before they signed elsewhere, wideouts Julian Edelman (New England Patriots) and Emmanuel Sanders (Denver Broncos) were connected to San Francisco in published reports.

With about $4.2 million in salary cap space, according to spotrac.com, and May 8-10 draft picks left to sign, will the team still look to grow its pass-catching corps via free agency?

If so, here are some of the top options:

Miles Austin (Dallas Cowboys) – 6-foot-2, 216 pounds – 2013: 24 catches in 8 games

The eight-year veteran, 29, had a down year after averaging 65 catches and eight touchdowns per season since 2009. He was slowed by a hamstring injury, but he's been durable in the past. Where would he fit?

Kenny Britt (Tennesse Titans) – 6-foot-3, 223 pounds – 2013: 11 catches in 12 games

The five-year vet, 25, is one of the more physically imposing wideouts still available. Still, what has he accomplished since bursting on the scene with a nine-touchdown, 775-yard sophomore season?

Santonio Holmes (New York Jets) – 5-foot-11, 192 pounds – 2013: 23 catches in 11 games

The eight-year vet, 30, didn't quite fulfill expectations in New York, where he landed after his original foray into free agency right after being named Super Bowl MVP in 2009. Like the man after him on this list, he's also battled the injury blug; he's appeared in all 16 games just three times entering his ninth NFL season.

Sidney Rice (Seattle Seahawks) – 6-foot-2, 207 pounds – 2013: 15 catches in 8 games

The seven-year vet, 27, was on the sideline as much as he was on the field in his three seasons in Seattle. Can he and his knees stay healthy long enough to ever repeat his 83-catch, 1,312-yard campaign for the Minnesota Vikings in 2009?

Josh Morgan (Washington) – 6-foot-1, 220 pounds – 2013: 20 catches in 14 games

The six-year vet, 28, left the 49ers in 2012 to return home. Like with Holmes and Rice at their second NFL stops, things haven't gone according to plan. San Francisco is reportedly interested in a reunion. 

Lance Moore (New Orleans Saints) – 5-foot-9, 190 pounds – 2013: 37 catches in 13 games

The eight-year vet, 30, has proven to be an affective situational pass-catcher, serving in the slot for Drew Brees. He came nowhere close to his 65-catch, 1,037-yard 2012 campaign, and he did so at the wrong time. Does he still have it?

Jacoby Ford (Oakland Raiders) – 5-foot-9, 190 pounds – 2013: 13 catches in 14 games

The four-year vet, 26, hasn't translated his Clemson-trained speed into the NFL. Are his best days in front of him, and might benefit from lining up in the slot for a better offense?

Jerricho Cotchery (Pittsburgh Steelers) – 6-foot-1, 200 pounds – 2013: 46 catches in 16 games

The 10-year vet, 31, is the most productive option on this list, but he's also the oldest. His 10 touchdowns last season represent a career high, but he hasn't cleared 800 receiving yards in a single season since 2009. Are his best days behind him?