WR still position of need even after Moss signing

March 13, 2012, 2:25 pm
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On the eve of free agency, the 49ers signed one of the all-time great producers at the position of their biggest offseason need.Receiver Randy Moss was paced through a workout on the 49ers' Santa Clara practice field on Monday at the edge of a construction zone. Site preparation has started for the new stadium the 49ers hope will open in time for the 2014 season.It's a long shot that Moss will see the ribbon-cutting of the new building. And it's no certainty that Moss, 35, will be much of a factor this season, either.After all, New England and Minnesota cut him in 2010. And he moved on to Tennessee. With those three teams, he had the lowest production of his 13-year NFL career.A year ago, his stock was at an all-time low. He retired.And, now, he's back.
Moss could return to his form of pre-2010. If that's the case, a starting receiver tandem of Moss and Michael Crabtree would be a formidable combination. But expect the 49ers to continue to add at the wide receiver position through free agency and the draft this offseason.The 49ers have their prices in mind for free agents Vincent Jackson and Mike Wallace, but it seems highly likely those players will be signing elsewhere.The 49ers' best plan of attack seems to be the approach they used a year ago at the cornerback position. Nnamdi Asomugha and Johnathan Joseph were the top players on the market. They got their money while the 49ers held tight.When Carlos Rogers slipped through the cracks, the 49ers were able to land him with a one-year contract.So look for Jackson and Wallace to command big contracts. Dwayne Bowe, DeSean Jackson and Wes Welker have been tagged as their teams' franchise players. Marques Colston is reportedly nearing a new deal with the New Orleans Saints.That leaves a pool of receivers who fit a similar clump, such as Joshua Morgan, Robert Meachem, Laurent Robinson, Pierre Garcon, Mario Manningham, Early Doucet and Harry Douglas.The 49ers wish to re-sign Morgan, who says he is fully recovered from the broken lower leg that ended his season. If Morgan does not sign with the 49ers before 1 p.m. (that's when free-agency opens), he is likely to get some notice on the open market.And if the 49ers do not re-sign Ted Ginn, they could potentially find a low-cost replacement in Eddie Royal or Roscoe Parrish, two slot receiversreturn-man options. (Parrish's lack of durability is a definite concern.)As 49ers CEO Jed York said on Monday, the organization's approach this offseason is unchanged from a year ago -- to "always build through the draft and supplement through free agency."It worked a year ago, so there is no reason to change now.

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