Thursday, February 6, 2014
Steelers WR Sanders a 49ers free-agent fit?
By Bill Williamson
Earlier Thursday on "SportsCenter," ESPN Insider Adam Caplan identified an explosive receiver as the San Francisco 49ers’ top need this offseason.
Caplan suggested the 49ers should pursue Pittsburgh receiver Emmanuel Sanders in free agency. Caplan reasoned that Sanders will be attainable for the 49ers because the Steelers likely won’t try to re-sign him.
Sanders has speed and he has made big plays. He had 67 catches for 740 yards and six touchdowns last season. It was Sanders’ best season in four NFL campaigns. He will turn 27 in March.
There’s no doubt Sanders would be a nice complement to Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin (who needs to be re-signed). Sanders' speed would give the 49ers an added dimension.
However, I’m not sure it would be cost efficient. The 49ers have priority free agents in Boldin, safety Donte Whitner and kicker Phil Dawson. Also, they have Quinton Patton entering his second season and they may pursue a receiver early in the draft.
Thus, I’m not sure the 49ers would invest significant salary in a receiver because of those factors. But, if the price is right, Sanders would look good in a 49ers uniform. At the very least, Caplan’s idea is interesting early-February fodder.