2012 Free Agency: 49ers And The Slow Play Of The Wide Receivers

Matt Barrows used an exactly phrase in describing the San Francisco work in the free agent market. He described the team as "slow-playing" the wide receiver market. The 49ers are in a bit of a position of strength as an organization and do not feel the need to force the situation at this early point of free agency. It really is similar to what we saw last year where the team was more than willing to sit and wait through the first two or three waves of free agency before making their plays.

The wide receiver market has thinned out at the top with guys like Vincent Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne and even Robert Meachem finding landing spots. Now we enter the second phase with Mario Manningham as one of the primary remaining targets. The 49ers will host Manningham on Thursday, not too long after they hosted Oakland Raiders wide receiver Chaz Schilens. They are also reportedly throwing their hat in the Laurent Robinson sweepstakes, although it remains to be seen what kind of dollar figure they would be looking at for Robinson.

Schilens is an interesting play that could fit into the 49ers MO of the last year. Schilens is injury prone with pretty solid potential given his size. I briefly spoke with a Raiders fan friend of mine who said it is all about the upside versus fragility. He is more of a possession receiver, but has a decent amount of speed and decent size. Great hands and solid route running, plus, despite all of his injuries, he is still pretty young, and if he can stay healthy, might have a big career ahead of him. But of course, it all comes back to the injuries. For now, Schilens is off to New Jersey to chat with the Jets.

Speaking of my Raiders friend, I might have an irregular podcast going with him in the coming weeks and months. There is something amusing about a 49ers fan and Raiders fan discussing the 49ers. We taped one on Sunday, which obviously is rather outdated at this point. But if you've got an hour to kill, check it out. We'll get it released in a little more of timely fashion in the future (next one likely in April).

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