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Can Braylon Edwards Still Help The 49ers?

Stating the obvious if I may.  The 49ers need some help at the wide receiver position next season.  Michael Crabtree had a career year, but still wasn’t a 1,000 yard receiver.  Joshua Morgan is a nice player but spent most of the year on IR and is a free agent.  Ted Ginn Jr is a good return man and a decent #3 WR at best and is also a FA.  Kyle Williams ruins seasons and I’m pretending he’s going to be cut and out of the NFL this time next season.

The Niners need to add at least one, probably two upgrades at the position before next season.  It will not only help Alex Smith by giving him more weapons.  It will also help Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis by drawing some attention elsewhere.  San Francisco had this problem coming into this season as well.  Then they were able to sign Braylon Edwards, it was reasonable to think they had a pretty darn good group of wideouts in training camp.

The rest of this maddening proposition after the break

Then Edwards got hurt, Morgan got hurt and the group suffered all season.  Edwards was eventually released just before the playoffs, unable to shake nagging injuries and make an impact on the field.  The market for Edwards was so bad last year he had to settle for a 1 year $1M deal with the Niners.  Braylon has played on three different teams now and suitors will not be lining up at his door to pay him top dollar or give him a long term deal of any kind.

Which begs the question, can Braylon Edwards still help the 49ers?  It’s a thought that crossed my mind when I was reviewing a list of potential FA WRs the team could potentially target.  While Vincent Jackson or Dwayne Bowe would be nice and a first round pick would definitely be safer.

Is Edwards still a #1 WR?  Maybe not, but when healthy, he is a very good #2.  He would be a cheap option, a veteran with something to prove, again.  Jim Harbaugh lured him to SF using his Michigan ties and ties to his family.  Michigan alum are a very loyal group.  I certaintly wouldn’t put it past Harbaugh to give Edwards another chance, especially at the price we got him last year.

I believe a healthy Edwards can still make a big impact in the passing game on an NFL team.  Any other 49er fans out there feel kind of ripped off that we didn’t get that this year?  I know I do, especially after seeing him look strong in the preseason.  Edwards and Alex Smith made an obvious connection early on.

The team may need to end up replacing a defensive FA such as Ahmad Brooks or God forbid Carlos Rogers or Dashon Goldson in the draft.  And if not, it sure would be nice to spend that pick on one of the drafts top Guards to replace the Chilo Rachal/Adam Snyder nightmare.  Adding Edwards again, shouldn’t be the only plan of action at the WR position for the 49ers if they choose to bring him back.  Adding another veteran or a draft pick around the 2nd-4th round would be a must.  But in my opinion, Edwards is definetly an option worth exploring.

What do you think of the 49ers bringing back Braylon Edwards next season?  Let us know in the comments section.

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Tags: 49ers 49ers 2010 Off-season 49ers Free Agency 49ers Training Camp Adam Snyder Alex Smith Jim Harbaugh Josh Morgan Michael Crabtree San Francisco 49ers Trent Baalke Vernon Davis

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