Programming note: NFL free agency is underway! Check out Matt Maiocco's 49ers free agent tracker and watch SportsNet Central nightly at 6 and 10:30 p.m. for all the latest football news.
The 49ers might have their presumptive starting wide receivers already under contract, but they appear to be in the market for more.
With five draft picks in the top 94, the 49ers are expected to add to their stable of wideouts during the May 8-10 selection period. And the team showed interest in free agent Golden Tate, he said Wednesday on a Seattle radio show after signing with the Detroit Lions.
The 49ers reached out to Tate, who explained to the KJR radio audience he could not do that to Seahawks fans. More than likely, he could not pass up the reported five-year, $31 million offer that the Lions made him.
The 49ers re-signed Anquan Boldin to a two-year, $12 million deal last week. Michael Crabtree is under contract for one more season of his original rookie contract. Quinton Patton finished his rookie season as the 49ers’ No. 3 wide receiver.
The top remaining wide receivers on the free-agent market are Hakeem Nicks, Julian Edelman, Santonio Holmes, James Jones and Emmanuel Sanders. The 49ers have not been publicly linked to any of them. In addition, the Carolina Panthers reportedly plan to release Steve Smith on Thursday.
Smith worked daily his rookie season on the Panthers’ scout team in 2001 with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who spent his final season in Carolina as a backup quarterback.
Smith, who turns 35 in May, caught 64 passes for 745 yards (11.6 average per reception) with four touchdowns in 15 regular-season games for the Panthers last season.