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Niners in need of a No. 2 wideout

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

The 49ers entered the 2012 season with five No. 1 receivers.  They ended the campaign with only one.

So now, as Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle explains it, the Niners need a No. 2 wideout to complement Michael Crabtree.

In quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 10 starts this season, Crabtree was targeted 94 times.  That’s 55 times more than any other player.

Mario Manningham, a hero for the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, is recovering from a torn ACL, as is Kyle Williams.  Ted Ginn and A.J. Jenkins were ineffective in 2012, and Randy Moss was used extensively down the stretch but his glory days have, well, passed him by.

Jenkins, a first-round pick in 2012, could be the focal point of the team’s offseason efforts.  But other option will be needed, and the Niners would be wise to wait for the free-agent market to soften before going bargain shopping.

Or maybe they’ll “evaluate” a field-stretching option like Mike Wallace.  If the Niners unload Alex Smith, they’ll have the cap space to make a run at Wallace.

The only problem is that, if Wallace gets paid, Crabtree will start carping about getting a new contract.

So the smart move is to wait until late March, and then to offer up short-term deals to veterans who have slipped through the cracks.

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89 Responses to “Niners in need of a No. 2 wideout”
  1. drock36 says: Feb 8, 2013 11:16 PM

    Start Crabing, carbing, crapping, carping? Good to know.

  2. seanx40 says: Feb 8, 2013 11:19 PM

    Titus Young is available. For the team that wants to commit suicide.

  3. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 8, 2013 11:25 PM

    Now you just revealed their whole strategy, Mike. Thanks a lot.

  4. virusgvr says: Feb 8, 2013 11:26 PM

    Let me check my calendar….. Yep I am available. I wonder if they are willing to take a look at a 6’1 3/4 271lbs guy at the WR such as myself?

  5. nyyjetsknicks says: Feb 8, 2013 11:26 PM

    Are they definitely getting rid of Alex Smith? He’s due $7.5 million and Kapernick due ~$700,000. Plenty of teams have a starting qb with a salary over $9 million. With a team so close to a Super Bowl, it seems foolish to get rid of Smith with the way Kapernick runs. If he gets a RG3 type injury they are toast without Smith.

  6. chawk12thman says: Feb 8, 2013 11:27 PM

    If they wait until late March, the Seahawks will likely have pickeu up a Wallace or someone as good as him………good deal.

  7. ripster65 says: Feb 8, 2013 11:30 PM

    Thought I read somewhere that Moss was informed that he wasn’t going to be a focal point of the offense when he signed and as it turns out one could say he was way more valuable as a mentor/coach to anyone around him from the WR/TEs to the DBs than he was on the field.

    That being said, considering that he’s the self-proclaimed “greatest receiver of all time”, there’s no way he’ll settle for that role again on the cheap. I don’t see him being next years’ #2 any more than Manningham, Ginn or Williams. Williams is a china doll, Ginn has hands of stone and, well, didn’t see enough of M’ham before he got hurt too. So, yeah…they do need that guy…

  8. myasylum11 says: Feb 8, 2013 11:35 PM

    Green Bay seems to have a few to spare.

  9. blitzinc43 says: Feb 8, 2013 11:36 PM

    Danario Alexander?

  10. rmosss says: Feb 8, 2013 11:46 PM

    Wallace will become a Viking. The Wilf’s will pony up with the new stadium coming very soon. He’ll stretch the field with Harvin, Rudolf, and a 2nd round pick they’ll use on a receiver in this draft. When he visits Minnesota, he won’t be leaving!

  11. 49ersandshivabowl says: Feb 8, 2013 11:47 PM

    Jenkins is a complete bust. So bad were his “contributions” that he was actually replaced by Chad Hall of the practice squad for the NFCCG. Unless Jenkins drinks some kind of magic potion that turns him into even a respectable WR he will be cut due to total ineptitude.

  12. themanasutra says: Feb 8, 2013 11:53 PM

    Draft. Trade up, down, all around. We have too many picks right now anyway. Just don’t miss like last year.

  13. marvsleezy says: Feb 8, 2013 11:56 PM

    Manningham will recover and be a good number 2

  14. bobhk says: Feb 8, 2013 11:57 PM

    it’s not Baalkes style to make a big FA splash. they will look to develop Jenkins or a lower end wr or hope manningham comes back good.

    besides the have good receiving options in Crabtree and Davis plus the offense goes through runnin game first.

  15. trubroncfan07 says: Feb 9, 2013 12:03 AM

    TO is available. Might be a good fit.

  16. westcoastraider says: Feb 9, 2013 12:04 AM

    Eh, I’d still choose DHB over that dude..

  17. patyofeet says: Feb 9, 2013 12:12 AM

    Bolden????

  18. tigershark49 says: Feb 9, 2013 12:15 AM

    @drock36 – exactly!

  19. sportsnut101 says: Feb 9, 2013 12:19 AM

    If moss isn’t on the field how can he be effective. They have a number 2 wideout already Vernon Davis hello

  20. halohonk says: Feb 9, 2013 12:20 AM

    If Ponder is the qb he wont be stretching the field. Sign Vick! Read option and man hes got an arm. What an offense that would be. Percy would probably stay. Can Vick stay healthy that is the question. Option left to Kahlil’s side, Sullivan pro bowl center. Then Wallace to stretch the field. Vick, AP, Harvin, Rudolph, Wallace! Do it Ziggy Do it!

  21. mrpickled says: Feb 9, 2013 12:25 AM

    Jennings to sf. You heard it here folks

  22. baymac408 says: Feb 9, 2013 12:27 AM

    Crabtree is so dope!! So is manningham but he unfortunately got hurt.. Did I mention CRABTREE IS SO F**kin dope!! Get on em Crab

  23. 40zntallcanz says: Feb 9, 2013 12:34 AM

    Wallace? nah, they need a dwayne bowe type of guy

  24. shaggytoodle says: Feb 9, 2013 12:36 AM

    I remember when DHB went before him. He made a fuss about contract and what not.

    Who is the better WR Crabtree (up) or DHB (down) on position play itself?

  25. letmesetyoustraight says: Feb 9, 2013 12:41 AM

    To be in “need of a #2 wideout” don’t you need to have a #1 wideout to start with? Crabtree is a #2 on most teams.

  26. thekingdave says: Feb 9, 2013 12:43 AM

    Mike,

    Completely different subject but the NFL is setting a dangerous precedent with the current home/away release of the 2013 season, I emailed you about it. Seattle should be hosting the Texans, not the other way around. No one in sports media is willing to provide an answer.

  27. dbones750 says: Feb 9, 2013 12:45 AM

    So, why won’t Manningham and Williams be ready for next year? Vernon should be the focal point. Crab, Manningham, Ginn, Williams aren’t terrible. Jenkins is a wild card. If he sucks, they need to get someone, but they probably shouldn’t pay Wallace, they’re gonna have to pay Crab soon.

  28. packerbackernj says: Feb 9, 2013 12:48 AM

    rmosss says:
    Feb 8, 2013 11:46 PM
    Wallace will become a Viking. The Wilf’s will pony up with the new stadium coming very soon. He’ll stretch the field with Harvin, Rudolf, and a 2nd round pick they’ll use on a receiver in this draft. When he visits Minnesota, he won’t be leaving!
    —————–

    Yea, he won’t be leaving because the roof will collapse on him and probably kill the poor guy. This whole team is adrian peterson, and unless AP can keep rushing for 2000 yards a season, you’ll be back in last place sooner rather then later. SKOL

  29. ronaldjones says: Feb 9, 2013 12:49 AM

    Niners receiving corps isn’t elite, but the situation’s not as bad as it looks because one of their most explosive players is a TE (Vernon Davis).

  30. pistolpete31 says: Feb 9, 2013 12:50 AM

    How about manningham? Won’t he be healthy in time. How is Moss past his prime when they never throw him the ball? Pretty sure he can still catch it and make plays.

  31. truecowboyfan says: Feb 9, 2013 12:53 AM

    Jerry Rice was still a number 1 receiver at Moss’s age. Moss can’t even make the roster anymore. Too funny how this clown really thinks he is better than Rice. As a matter of face, Randy Moss is 35 years old and done in the league. Rice dominated into his 40’s.

    Rice’s All Pro stats when he was 40:
    92 catched for 1,211 yards and 7 touchdowns.

    WHEN HE WAS 40!!!!

  32. forreels says: Feb 9, 2013 12:53 AM

    Crabtree is not a one. Who are they trying to kid. He never will be a one. He is a solid 2 very comparable to Titus young and a Brian hartline. The miners need a slot guy and a speed guy and they will be unbeatable. Their weakness by far was the receiving corp. well not that they would really take advantage of a receiving corp if they had one……..

  33. txnative61 says: Feb 9, 2013 1:01 AM

    Colin Kaepernik made great strides in the passing department last year, but I noticed he rarely makes more than one or two reads in his progressions from the pocket before scrambling out of pressure. That is why Crabtree and Vernon Davis ended up with the most catches. They were looking for a quality wide last off season and no doubt still would like another. Personally I would look to address this by looking for a sleeper in the draft, rather than veterans who trend toward Prima Donna’s like Moss. That would be right after drafting Justin Smith’s replacement in the first round.

  34. pisano says: Feb 9, 2013 1:06 AM

    ….and while their at it, look for some pass defense, Flacco really exposed them.

  35. blackcatnfl says: Feb 9, 2013 1:08 AM

    Crabtree is a fine #2 WR. What they need is a #1.

  36. alecanthony says: Feb 9, 2013 1:23 AM

    What about AJ Jenki….wait never mind you said a good 2nd WR

  37. johnnyballsack says: Feb 9, 2013 1:27 AM

    They have the number one Wideout in the NFL! Err…I meant Whine-Out….Jimmy Har-Bawl.

  38. We'reFineThere says: Feb 9, 2013 1:27 AM

    DeSean Jackson for your first rounder…. Come on, why waste it on another Jenkins?

  39. 4512dawg4512 says: Feb 9, 2013 1:37 AM

    Terrell Owens baby!

  40. robf2010 says: Feb 9, 2013 1:46 AM

    Don’t know about that. I think they already have lots of Number 2 wideouts. :)

  41. titansrock84 says: Feb 9, 2013 1:54 AM

    Titus Young was claimed by the Rams so is NOT available. Checks your facts before you comment lol.

  42. redandgoldhitman52 says: Feb 9, 2013 2:09 AM

    crabtree,wallace, manningham,davis,gore, james, kaepernick. wow!! cant wait!!

  43. raiderrob21 says: Feb 9, 2013 2:17 AM

    Your wrong. Theyre in need of a #1 WR. Crabs is nice, but NOT a #1 WR. Hes a #2 WR.

  44. bert1913 says: Feb 9, 2013 2:31 AM

    Crabtree’s uncleagent will look out for him.

  45. nwofolife says: Feb 9, 2013 2:41 AM

    And the 49ers talent gets thinner and thinner.

    Manningham will never be the same. You’re welcome, the Seahawks organization.

  46. dmackdaddy says: Feb 9, 2013 2:47 AM

    We will definitely trade Alex Smith. CK7’s backup will be Scott Tolzine, aka Baby Breeze and that was 2 years before school of Jim Harbaugh. We have 14 draft picks too, so we can fill many needs with FAs and trades. This is just the beginning of 10 years of 49ers success, get use to us being contenders!

  47. jrobitaille23 says: Feb 9, 2013 4:03 AM

    First off, they have two viable number 2s in Manningham and Jenkins. Both should be healthy next year. Also, Moss was open frequently but being the young QB he is, Kaepernick probably cannot go through his progressions all the way to 3rd or 4th option as evidenced by his throwing to Crabtree so much. So based on Kaepernick’s maturity as a QB does he really need a #2 WR seeing as that guy would in reality be the number 4 option after 1. crabtree 2. davis 3. RB out of backfield 4. #2 WR? And they just drafted Jenkins, a project who they knew would take time to develop. Well, he’ll be entering year two and I am sure be prepared to catch the 25-30 passes that will go his way.

    Seriously horrible article

  48. southpaw77 says: Feb 9, 2013 4:06 AM

    You put a deep threat like Victor Cruz or Mike Wallace on that offense, look out!

    The problem is they have holes in their secondary, Culliver and Whitner got torched by Baltimore and they were lit up the whole playoffs.

    Then they need DL line depth, once Justin Smith hurt his tricep, their pass rush was next to nothing.

    Then the kicking situation has to be addressed.

    If this was the the 80s with no cap, DeBartolo would have gotten Revis at CB in a trade, Wallace at WR, Hanson as his kicker, and Osi or Freeney at DE. Of course its not the 80s and we have a cap now.

  49. keakuamai says: Feb 9, 2013 4:09 AM

    Titus Young was claimed off waivers by the rams iirc

    They don’t need a #2, but another #1

    Wallace would be great and fits the bill but do would Anquan Boldin

  50. chuckyd317 says: Feb 9, 2013 4:40 AM

    Vikings stretch the field?? What FA QB did they sign???

  51. cali49er707 says: Feb 9, 2013 4:44 AM

    Who cares???

    We just lost the Superbowl!!!

  52. joetoronto says: Feb 9, 2013 4:48 AM

    No way, Jim Harbaugh said they have 5 number ones.

  53. jimmysee says: Feb 9, 2013 5:02 AM

    Greg Jennings to San Francisco?

    Scary.

  54. dabears2485 says: Feb 9, 2013 5:03 AM

    They could go for the young-and-expensive Wallace. OR they can seek out a veteran presence such as Greg Jennings. That’s the kind of always-open, reliable hands player that a young QB like Kaepernick needs.

  55. sunsbolts7 says: Feb 9, 2013 5:25 AM

    ^says someone born/raised/and never left the Minneapolis area? I mean, seriously? Thanks for the late-night laugh, though.

  56. jcrileyesq says: Feb 9, 2013 5:52 AM

    alex smith for percy harvin

  57. calicokiller49 says: Feb 9, 2013 6:28 AM

    Please get mike Wallace, Jed York, please. Crabtree, mike Wallace, and Mario manning ham. That would be the best wr crew in the league.

  58. frankdatank23 says: Feb 9, 2013 6:28 AM

    Aj Jenkins

  59. packersfansuck says: Feb 9, 2013 6:40 AM

    Dear God,
    Please don’t let the Vikings trade Percy Harvin for an overrated QB like Alex Smith.

  60. matt2calvin says: Feb 9, 2013 6:56 AM

    seanx40 says:
    Feb 8, 2013 11:19 PM
    Titus Young is available. For the team that wants to commit suicide.

    That is too funny! Nice job!

    Of course, you would have to make sure Crabtree is OK being the 2nd receiver!

    What a match made in heaven…

  61. pcoz99 says: Feb 9, 2013 7:02 AM

    Just keep Moss and USE HIM!!! Not as a decoy, but actually throw the ball to him. He’s running fine, caught everything his way this year, and was open numerous times in the SB but wasn’t targeted. Jim’s a great coach, but he waaaay underutilized him this year. All the guys on the team like him and learned from him. To me it’s a no brainer. All the complaining about a ball 10 feet over his head is silly when he was WIDE OPEN!

  62. i, flounder says: Feb 9, 2013 7:28 AM

    you said number 2

  63. azjam says: Feb 9, 2013 7:35 AM

    Some good WRs in the draft could meet their needs and help build for the future.

  64. bigblue88 says: Feb 9, 2013 7:38 AM

    Cruzzzzzzzzzzz…. Hate to say it…

  65. kev86 says: Feb 9, 2013 7:44 AM

    Frisco blew their shot. Time to rebuild.

  66. EJ says: Feb 9, 2013 7:44 AM

    I would put a little time in with Ted Ginn. He still has the speed to get behind DB’s and with a little work would make an excellent #2 Receiver across Crabtree.

  67. helloanybodyhome says: Feb 9, 2013 7:46 AM

    I’m 57, but play like a 48 year old…and I am available.
    For the right $ of course.

  68. kvanhorn87 says: Feb 9, 2013 7:58 AM

    Mike Wallace to the Eagles. Could you imagine the speed of Wallace and desean Jackson together? Perfect weapons in Chip Kelly’s offense.

  69. filthymcnasty1 says: Feb 9, 2013 8:25 AM

    All the Viking receivers play like No. 2.

  70. redrew says: Feb 9, 2013 8:27 AM

    Mike Francesa says Welker wants out of New England and SanFran will take a run at him. We’ll see. I’ll admit he would be the perfect piece to that offense. Crabtree roaming the mid and deep patterns, V Davis doing his thing…plus Gore and Kaepernick’s running skill keeping Defenses out of nickel. Wes Welker would have a lot of room to maneuver. Also, can you think of a better security blanket for a young team. A match made in heavan?

  71. ravenator says: Feb 9, 2013 8:36 AM

    More like in need of a large tissue box. They still whining in San Fran?

  72. bigredgoog says: Feb 9, 2013 8:43 AM

    A.J. Jenkins appears to be a miss on a draft choice. Manningham looked much better than expected when he was playing. It would be nice to have another proven excellent receiver but use the guys coming back plus draft another one. Use money for defense and some depth at offensive line. Let Moss go. Let Smith go. Let Akers go.

  73. tyler200829 says: Feb 9, 2013 8:52 AM

    Yes Mike because going after veterans worked so well for them this year, i.e Brandon Jacobs (cut), Mario Manningham (torn ACL), Moss (sucked in regular season and was a non factor in the SB). Yeah maybe they ought not try that again

  74. glennsyank13 says: Feb 9, 2013 9:08 AM

    “rmosss says: Feb 8, 2013 11:46 PM”

    Every WR the vikings have signed since michael jenkins was going to be an unstoppable force according to their fans. The next randy moss in their eyes. Even randy moss was going to be the next randy moss…. And even CFL has beens were going to be it. The vikings have had about 12 number 1 wr’s since 2010……..

  75. pencilmonkeymagic says: Feb 9, 2013 9:15 AM

    They’ll have to hit free agency – they’ve already demonstrated their ability to get bust WRs in the draft.

  76. rajbais says: Feb 9, 2013 9:23 AM

    I started to have my doubts of AJ Jenkins during mini camp sessions and training camp and expressed them on PFT, but a few weeks ago I found out which was Jenkins’ highest draft all star game appearance,

    the East West Shrine Game.

    That’s for low level guys and no one should use first rounders on them!!! Look at Joey Harrington. No Senior Bowl. He was an East West Game invite only.

    If I were Baalke I would get a free agent WR or wait till Round 2 or 3 to get one. TY Hilton is an example of why WR’s can be taken later.

  77. forty9asty says: Feb 9, 2013 9:41 AM

    Hmm…I agree a true #2 is what they need. However,

    Mike Wallace= ego too big, price tag way too high, had a bit of a down year

    Percy Harvin= great all around threat. WR skills are there, running the end around is there, return game is there (esp if Ginn goes bye bye), but would the Vikings let him go/can he stay healthy?

    Greg Jennings= great pass catcher/route runner, great teammate. However, has had drop issues before, coming off a few injuries, getting “up there” in age.

    Wes Welker= great possesion receiver with the ability to break off the big ones, great possesion reciever and route runner. Similar to Harvin in the ability to run reverses and punts, but again, will NE let him go, and at what price, and also getting up there in age

    Anquan Boldin=great possesion receiver, great teammate but has already said he wants to retire as a Raven, and likely will do so if they let him go

    I’d say let Moss and Ginn venture elsewhere, and go after Welker or Harvin if they can be had at a reasonable price. Otherwise, I think Jennings could be a good fit.

  78. rap49er says: Feb 9, 2013 9:57 AM

    Danny Amendola. Helps two ways!

  79. brooklynniner19 says: Feb 9, 2013 10:14 AM

    49ers will get more action during FA’s because everyone wants to be a 9er now!! ;)

  80. aces79 says: Feb 9, 2013 10:47 AM

    Go after Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings and the niners need another shut down DB and there set

  81. titimium says: Feb 9, 2013 11:14 AM

    When you said that Crabtree will complain if they sign Wallace isn’t that the ultimate example of belaboring the obvious? My 2 year old nephew could of figured that out. Plus don’t all players want more money when there contracts are up and the team signs a new player for more $$? Jesus have a more original thought than what the average idiot can come up with.

  82. billb49 says: Feb 9, 2013 11:32 AM

    seanx40 says: Feb 8, 2013 11:19 PM

    “Titus Young is available. For the team that wants to commit suicide.”

    Yes, that team is the Rams. Have fun, Rams!

  83. cobaltdriver says: Feb 9, 2013 11:34 AM

    @rmoss
    “He won’t be leaving”? Lol that’s the best one yet..lets see, the guys choice is an up an coming team that just barely lost the Superbowl,a brand new stadium,a young exciting QB,a beautiful city like San Fran, but wait,once he sees the snow,cold,dumpy dome,and ..lol down the field QB the Dikes have..he won t be leaving? Hahahahahahahahahlololololo..thanks for the laugh buddy, that made my day..Delusional party of 1!

  84. dirtyjersey9er says: Feb 9, 2013 11:35 AM

    I think this year will start the years where a FA might be inclined to ask for less to go with the 49ers seeing how close they were to winning it all. That Free Agent could be convinced he is a piece needed to get over the hump and thus sign for less.

    Not all Free Agents mind you but the days of the team overpaying to get someone are long gone. But even with that some guys like their straight cash. I’d love for them to get Greg Jennings though. Another vet with SB winning experience is not a bad thing.

    As for AJ Jenkins anyone else remember the time when it was expected for Rookie WRs to struggle? Just because QBs are starting to play well out the gate doesn’t mean every rookie is going to be good right away.

    But if he struggles this year after the humbling he got this year his stay in San Francisco will probably be pretty short.

  85. psilenttype says: Feb 9, 2013 11:51 AM

    Manningham and Crabtree will complement each other fine… Kyle Williams always was a good receiver but Alex Smith had trouble getting him the ball!

    Now that Colin is the starter look for Greg Roman to tailor the offense to the QB… We’ll be fine even if AJ Jenkins never shows up!

    Plus we have Vernon Davis and possibly Delanie Walker

  86. macklinr61 says: Feb 9, 2013 12:15 PM

    Doesn’t matter if they have 5 #1 WRs. Colin is fixating on Crabtree. He missed Delanie and Vernon and Moss when they were open in the end zone. He is forcing the passes towards Crabtree.

  87. ajpnsf says: Feb 9, 2013 12:26 PM

    Bowe… or Wallace.

    Jenkins will work out. Just wait. He’s just a late bloomer.

    Moss owwwt. Period.

  88. redpillmindstate says: Feb 9, 2013 2:27 PM

    Jerome Simpson will be a 49er you heard it here first…..

  89. forever9ers says: Feb 10, 2013 2:48 AM

    49ers are only interested in value in the FA market. They are patient and prudent & have a salary structure for the long haul that they’ll not waver from.

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