The 49ers are slow-playing the wide receiver market.
After a flurry of signings yesterday - Pierre Garcon, Vincent Jackson, Josh Morgan, Robert Meachem - we are officially at tier two of the unrestricted free-agent market for receivers. And the 49ers, as is their habit, seem to be taking their time looking at everyone available.
Here's a list of the players the 49ers have at least contacted. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the 49ers were one of three teams eying New York Giants free agent Mario Manningham and Pro Football Talk reports he'll visit Thursday. Also, I'm not including Denver's Eddie Royal on this list, although there's a good chance the 49ers are one of the teams interested in him.
1. Chaz Schilens, Raiders.
6-4, 225 pounds. Age: 26. Visit: Wednesday
Pros: Big, physical receiver who likely would cost less than the other receivers the 49ers are examining. He could be a very good red-zone threat.
Cons: He's been snake-bitten when it comes to injuries, and because of that he doesn't have much experience.
2. Brandon Lloyd, Rams
6-0, 188 pounds. Age: 30. Visit: Wednesday
Pros: He's a very smart and crafty route runner who knows how to get open and who has excellent hands and body control. Lloyd had 1,448 receiving yards in 2010 and seems to be getting better with age.
Cons: He was despised by veterans during his first stint in San Francisco and was detested even more in his second stop, Washington. Lloyd also does not fit the mold of the big, powerful receiver-who-can-block the 49ers prefer.
Laurent Robinson, Cowboys *Robinson agreed to terms on a five-year deal with Jacksonville Wednesday
6-2, 196 pounds. Age: 26
Pros: Robinson was Dallas' most effective receiver by the end of the season, and he finished with a team-high 11 touchdown catches. He appears to have a nice combination of speed, length and youth.
Cons: Is he a one-hit wonder? Robinson didn't do much his first four years in the league. He is being pursued by four teams, which will pump up his asking price.
4. Mario Manningham, Giants
6-0, 185 pounds. Age: 25. Visit: Scheduled for Thursday.
Pros: Manningham has a lot of experience and he came up with the biggest catches of the game in the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl. He's young, has good hands and is a very good route runner.
Cons: He's not very big and was the third-best receiver on the Giants last year. Does he want to join a 49ers team that already has Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss?
-- Matt Barrows