The San Francisco 49ers may hope Jarryd Hayne can become an option as a returner, but they are not looking to putt all their eggs in the Hayne/Ellington/Holliday basket. The team is bringing in former wide receiver and return man Ted Ginn for a visit on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. He already visited the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday.
Ginn spent three seasons with the 49ers, serving as their primary return man in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The team acquired him from the Miami Dolphins for a fifth round draft pick, and the trade proved quite valuable. In 2011, Ginn was third in the NFL in kick return average, and fourth in punt return average. His most notable game was the 2011 season opener in which he scored touchdowns on both a punt and kick return.
Ginn left in free agency, joining the Carolina Panthers on a one-year deal in 2013. He then signed a three-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals last year, but was released a couple weeks ago. Ginn left the 49ers after 2012 with hopes of getting more opportunities as a wide receiver. He had a solid season in Carolina, finishing with 36 receptions for 556 yards and five touchdowns. In Arizona, he had 14 receptions for 190 yards.
Ginn does bring a potential speed element to the wide receiver corps, but it is safe to say he would be looked at almost entirely as a return man. The 49ers return game has struggled with consistency since he left. Bruce Ellington showed some signs as a kick returner last year, but struggled as punt returner. The team added Trindon Holliday late in the season, and has now added Jarryd Hayne. I do think Ellington can improve, but I would enjoy seeing the team bring Ginn back in for one more run as the return man.