The 49ers are one of the teams showing interest in Denver free-agent wide receiver Eddie Royal, who had dinner Tuesday with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and team officials but who stopped short of joining Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon in Washington. Royal will fly to San Diego this week to meet with the Chargers and, absent any deals at that point, could head to the Bay Area after that.
Royal, 25, is interesting for San Francisco because he could fill a special teams void should Ted Ginn - a free agent who visited the Lions today - depart. Royal has extensive experience as a kick returner and, more important, as a punt returner. He's handled 81 punts in the last four seasons, and he has a 11.9-yard average and two touchdowns.
Royal is not the big-bodied receiver the 49ers normally prefer (5-10, 185), but he's strong and quick, and he perhaps is best suited as a slot receiver. His best year as a receiver came when he was a rookie in 2008. He started 15 games, caught 91 passes for 980 yards and had five touchdowns. Last year in a Tim Tebow-led offense, he started eight games, had 19 catches for 155 yards and scored one touchdown.
Royal was a teammate of Morgan's at Virginia Tech. He was drafted in the second round in 2008; Morgan went in the sixth. Both also are from the Washington, D.C. area. Morgan was born in the district while Royal was born just south of the city in Alexandria, Va.
-- Matt Barrows