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Friday, March 14, 2014
Sanders is latest WR on 49ers' radar

By Bill Williamson

The San Francisco 49ers' net for another veteran wide receiver is getting wider.

Sanders
Pittsburgh's Emmanuel Sanders is set to visit the 49ers on Saturday, according to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter. Sanders is also visiting with the Chiefs on Friday. The Sanders' visit follows a San Francisco visit by New England's Julian Edelman.

Also, the 49ers are reportedly interested in Giants' free agent Hakeem Nicks. Both Edelman and Nicks are getting a lot of interest in the free-agent market.

While Sanders may not have the name recognition as Edelman or Nicks, I think he might be a better fit for the 49ers than the other two. He is a speedster and, thus, he is more of a field stretcher than the other two receivers -- all of which is the 49ers' biggest need. I think he'd fit in well with San Francisco starting receivers Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. The group would surely be an upgrade from last season's receiving crew in San Francisco.

Sanders also may be more cost effective for the 49ers than Edelman and Nicks. That is important for a team that has less than $4 million in salary cap room and a team that's also trying to find a veteran cornerback.

In early February, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan pegged Sanders as a good fit for the 49ers. Sanders, who will turn 27 on Monday, had 67 catches for 740 yards and six touchdowns last season. It was Sanders' best season in four NFL campaigns.

If the 49ers don't sign Edelman, Nicks or Sanders, other available free agents include Steve Smith, James Jones, Santonio Holmes and Sidney Rice.