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Just for the hell of it: Should the 49ers pursue Alge Crumpler?

Before anybody blows a gasket, consider these the bored musings of a football fan in February.  For those that didn't here, Alge Crumpler was released by the Falcons today, along with Byron Leftwich, OT Wayne Gandy, DT Rod Coleman, and three other veterans.  Already, ESPN's football blog, "Hashmarks," is reporting that Crumpler could be bound for Carolina.  Crumpler is from Greenville, NC and was hoping to get drafted by the Panthers, so a free agency return is a very real possibility.

While we wait for that to happen though, I though it would be fun to at least ponder him as an option in the 49ers new and improved offense.  Had we signed almost any other offensive coordinator I'd say go for it, but Mike Martz is not exactly known for prolific tight end performances.  But for the purposes of this exercise, we'll just look at this from a more general perspective and consider the good and the bad to it.

When Eric Johnson was around, I really liked the idea of a 2-tight end set involving him and Vernon Davis.  Johnson could catch anything thrown his way while Davis could spread the defense.  Crumpler struggled last season, although part of that is due to playing with some craptastic quarterbacks.  Crumpler would have been 4th on the 49ers behind DJack, Vernon Davis and Arnaz Battle in receiving yards.

Imagine though what the team could do with a guy like Crumpler.  There is of course the traditional 2-tight end formation.  But the reason I really like the second tight end is when the Disease is split out wide.  Suddenly you've got the supremely athletic Davis as a receiver and the great hands of Crumpler.  If Davis is going to be the game-breaker this team has bee searching for, the addition of Crumpler would add another great receiver-type to the offense.  I still like the idea of bringing in another young WR through the draft, but I think this would produce some immediate dividends.

Two words: Delanie Walker.  Walker is still developing, but I think he's on his way to becoming a decent option at tight end.  His first year saw him active in only 7 games, making 2 receptions for 30 yards.  Last season he played in all 16 games and finished with 21 receptions for 174 yards and 1 touchdown.  Why bring in Crumpler who's starting to grow a little long in the teeth, when you've got a guy like Walker who most of us are fans of.

I certainly don't see Crumpler ending up in San Francisco.  There are the salary issues and the fact that the team really doesn't need him.  However, considering the glory he has brought me in fantasy seasons past, it's always interesting to at least consider the option.