The San Francisco 49ers are in the market for another wide receiver to add to talented outside duo Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, as well as intriguing second-year Louisiana Tech pro Quinton Patton. Not only will the 49ers work out former Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Emmanuel Sanders tomorrow, but they have also shown interest in the uber-talented-but-inconsistent Hakeem Nicks and hosted New England Patriots free agent wide receiver Julian Edelman on a visit today.
It’s going to be interesting to see which wide receiver the 49ers pick, and they have the biggest need for either a slot receiver or a speedy wideout who can get YAC and/or stretch the field deep. Edelman looks like a very good fit for the 49ers on paper as a slot receiver, but they might be looking for a more dynamic player in space (though Edelman is a lot faster than some may think).
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that there is “nothing imminent” between the 49ers and Edelman, and Rapoport writes that it’s more of a “feeling out process” at this point in time. This is great news for the Patriots and Cleveland Browns, as they would both love to sign Edelman. The Patriots really do need their 100-catch receiver back (he’s also a favorite of the fan base and organization), and the Browns have a big need for a reliable WR to help Josh Gordon out. But if the 49ers are actually seriously interested in signing Edelman, then the Browns and Pats need to look out.
All told, I think the Patriots will re-sign Edelman, since the Browns should be off of his trail with their offer significant offer sent to Cincinnati Bengals RFA WR Andrew Hawkins and the 49ers not all that interested in him and with other options on the table. The Patriots haven’t shown interest in last season’s offseason RFA target Emmanuel Sanders, so Edelman still looks like a big priority to them. If they can outspend the others, then they are a lock to re-sign him.