49ers make tough calls on Hawkins, Jennings
Lavelle Hawkins was the 49ers’ leading receiver this preseason with seven catches for 104 yards and a score. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
Wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins was contacted about a potential return to the 49ers last week before signing with the San Diego Chargers as a free agent, multiple sources told CSNBayArea.com.
Hawkins was among the 49ers’ final cuts before the start of the regular season, but the team wanted to bring him back, a source told CSN’s Mindi Bach. An independent source said Hawkins rejected the 49ers’ offer before he even had an offer from the San Diego Chargers. Hawkins signed with the Chargers this week.
Another source told CSN that the 49ers contacted Hawkins and advised him to remain ready for an opportunity but no offer was ever made.
Hawkins signed with the 49ers on Aug. 2 after he was released by the New England Patriots. Hawkins was the 49ers’ leading receiver during the exhibition season with seven receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown. He also returned a kickoff for a 105-yard touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings.
The 49ers broke camp with five wide receivers: Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams, Marlon Moore, Jon Baldwin and rookie Quinton Patton. The club claimed Chris Harper off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks and signed veteran Kassim Osgood after one later for his contributions on special teams.
Boldin leads the 49ers with 24 receptions for 372 yards and two touchdowns. All the other 49ers wide receivers have combined for just 13 receptions for 112 yards and no touchdowns.
Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree, both of whom are on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list, are expected to be added to the 49ers’ 53-man roster in the second half of the season after they receive medically clearance. The 49ers must create roster space when Manningham and Crabtree become eligible to return.
Hawkins, 27, a former Cal star, enters his sixth NFL season. He spent his first five years with the Tennessee Titans, where he caught 71 passes for 771 yards and one touchdown in 52 games. He rejoins his former Titans wide receivers coach, Fred Graves, with the Chargers.
“To be honest, I prayed about this,” Hawkins said upon his arrival with the Chargers. “I was in San Francisco and I got released and my coach is here, Fred Graves, and I was speaking with him over the time I was out. I was saying, ‘Coach, if there’s anything you can do, get me over there.’ I always wanted to play with Philip (Rivers) because it seems like he’s a fiery guy. So this is a dream come true.”