Earlier today, in looking at some mock drafts, I discussed the 49ers potential need at wide receiver. While I would be surprised to see the 49ers select a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL Draft, I do think the team takes a dip into free agency for a wide receiver.
Although I did previously bring up Victor Cruz, I would be surprised if the 49ers signed a big-name receiver. I think the 49ers will be looking at some of the lower profile names, but I imagine the front office at least gives some of the bigger names a call to see what kind of price point we are talking about.
It's been a busy few days for those big names. The most bizarre storyline might belong to Anquan Boldin, who is not even a free agent at this point. The Ravens receiver reportedly was told he needed to take a pay cut to return to Baltimore in 2013. Initially there were some conflicting reports about whether or not the Ravens asked him to take the pay cut. At this point though, it sounds like the pay cut is on the table and could lead to a parting of the ways. According to Peter King, Boldin is going to stand firm that he will not take a cut from his $6 million salary.
Mike Wallace is the big name in the news today, with reports that he will become a member of the Miami Dolphins when free agency officially opens Tuesday afternoon. There have been numerous reports that a deal is all but done at this point. Additionally, Adam Schefter mentioned on ESPN that he felt Wallace would be the only player to net $10 million a year in free agency this year. Well then.
The future of Wes Welker remains a question mark. Peter King reported that most people believe Welker will stick with the Patriots. It has been a bit of a tough negotiation between Welker and the Patriots, so it's hard to tell for certain what the end result will be.
If the Patriots do not re-sign Welker, one name attached to them is Danny Amendola, a man sometimes called a poor man's Wes Welker. I'd say call it that or just an injured man's Welker. Take your pick. Amendola seems just about assured of leaving St. Louis, but his final destination is up in the air. Of course, as is the case with free agency rumors, we're hearing all sorts of conflicting reports. CSN Philly says the Eagles will make a run at Amendola, while the Philly Inquirer says they are not hearing the Eagles are interested.
Greg Jennings has quietly been on the market, with the Vikings being the team most prominently featured in connection. Of course, Jennings recently told USA Today that "the quarterback means a lot, if they have one or not, and I have to make sure my family is comfortable." The first half of that comment would seem to hurt the Vikings chances. Christian Ponder has some upside, but there are a lot of teams with better QB situations. On the other hand, if the Vikings offer him crazy money, that could overcome his QB desire. I don't see the 49ers making a move for him, but he and Wallace will help establish the rest of the market.
One lower profile option I have seen mentioned in the comments is Rams receiver Brandon Gibson. The free agent has apparently drawn solid interest from around the league, with the Dolphins most specifically mentioned. We'll see if this turns into a low end bidding war. Gibson is not getting top end money, but if teams don't want to invest in the Mike Wallace and Wes Welker's of the world, Gibson could be worth a lower deal.