The 49ers could stand for some depth and competition at wide receiver, which explains why Chris Conley is coming aboard via NFL free agency.
A key point about NFL free agency is that it doesn’t exactly end, and teams are effectively free to ink unsigned players at any point once the start of the league new year begins.
Although the flashy and high-profile signings are all but complete by this point.
For the San Franciso 49ers, their free-agent moves are going to be of the supplementary variety, low-impact signings that might not raise the needle too much in the national spotlight.
Such is the case on Monday, as announced by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Niners are onboarding veteran wide receiver Chris Conley to a one-year deal:
Conley split 2022 with the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans, totaling just four receptions for 46 yards. In 2019 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, though, he had 47 catches for 775 yards and five touchdowns.
He originally broke into the league back in 2015 as a third-round NFL Draft choice by the Kansas City Chiefs.
What does signing Chris Conley do for 49ers WR depth chart?
San Francisco worked Conley out earlier this offseason, and the 30 year old figures to be a competitive piece to a wide receiver depth chart that lacks thump behind the big four of Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings and Ray-Ray McCloud.
There isn’t a lot of thump behind those names, though, and the 49ers will want to have some insurance in case they are unable to grab some receivers they like in the 2023 NFL Draft, which takes place later this month.
Additionally, having some experienced bodies for offseason workouts and training camp should bode well, too.
The nature of Conley’s one-year deal isn’t quite known yet, and the amount of guaranteed money (if any) will ultimately reveal whether or not the Niners intend to have him stay on the roster into the regular season.
For now, he adds some much-needed experience and competition to the back end of the wide receiver room.