Ginn wants to be more than a return specialist

March 15, 2012, 7:27 pm
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Ted Ginn's absence with a knee injury in the NFC championship game proved to be a fatal blow to the 49ers' season.Without the team's reliable return man, the 49ers turned to inexperienced Kyle Williams, whose two turnovers were critical mistakes in a 20-17 overtime loss to the New York Giants.At the conclusion of a free-agent visit to meet with Detroit Lions coaches and officials, Ginn was asked if the 49ers would be celebrating a Super Bowl title if Ginn had been able to play.
"We'd have been in the Super Bowl," Ginn told the Detroit Free Press. "I don't know if we'd have won, but we would have fought to win."Ginn accepted a 1.2 million pay cut at the beginning of last season to remain on the team. As a condition of the pay reduction, the 49ers ripped up the final year of his contract, making Ginn an unrestricted free agent.
Ginn returned kickoff and punt for touchdowns in the closing minutes of Week 1 to seal a victory over the Seattle Seahawks. He finished the season as one of the top return men in the league, averaging 27.6 yards on kickoffs and 12.3 yards on punt returns. He did not commit a turnover.
But Ginn caught just 19 passes for 220 yards, and the 49ers are intent on upgrading the depth at wide receiver this offseason.RELATED: Ted Ginn 2011 game logs News Splits
"I want to be known as a receiver, not a specialist guy, not a punt returner, kickoff returner," Ginn said. "I want to be known as an actual receiver, and that was some of the things that they expressed in here (with the Lions) for me today that I enjoyed."I'm six years in now. I just want to be able to just be a receiver, and special teams is given."Ginn left his visit to the Detroit area without a contract, but he said he was impressed with the Lions organization."I enjoyed myself here today," Ginn said. "A great group of coaches all the way around. As far as a commitment, it's just a little early right now. I'm going to see my options, but I like the Lions."The 49ers on Thursday agreed to a one-year contract with Raiders special-teamer Rock Cartwright, who told CSN's Paul Gutierrez the deal was pending a physical. The addition of Cartwright has no impact on Ginn's possible return to the 49ers.