The San Francisco 49ers have already signed a handful of receivers, but could they add another?
With the return of Richie James Jr. (and possibly Deebo Samuel next week,) as well as the additions of names like Kevin White and Tavon Austin, one might think the 49ers are all but set ahead of the 2020 NFL season.
However, a former weapon of head coach Kyle Shanahan, Mohamed Sanu, has recently become available after the New England Patriots surprisingly released the receiver this week, just over under a year on from when Patriots head coach Bill Belichick brought in the receiver from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange of a second-round pick.
Now that he’s a free agent, many teams will be keeping a close eye, and that includes general manager John Lynch and San Francisco.
Speaking to KNBR’s Murph and Mac show Thursday, Lynch answered a question about the team’s potential interest in Shanahan’s former receiver while the coach was the offensive coordinator for the Falcons.
“We’re actually pretty pleased with our with our depth at wide receiver and it may be something where early on in the season we’re not at full strength, but we like the way the group has come around.
“Sanu has been released so I am free to talk about him. He’s an excellent football player, one that has history with our staff and so I think when a good football player becomes available, we’re always interested and we’re always looking to see if they can help. But I will say that we’re probably more comfortable than most people think at the wide receiver position. What we’ve seen throughout this offseason, you know, leaves us leaves us really excited about the group so it has to fit and we’ll see where that goes… I think we feel a little stronger than maybe the outside world believes we should or do.”
So Lynch obviously has faith in their current group, and understandably so. With first-round talent Brandon Aiyuk joining Samuel, Kendrick Bourne as well as All-Pro tight end George Kittle, it’s not like the 49ers lack options, especially when considering the newest signings.
However, if the injury woes continue or they get some discouraging updates, the 49ers could call up Sanu for a Shanny reunion.
Sanu with the 49ers
In some ways, the 49ers are probably wishing the Patriots made the decision to cut Sanu a couple weeks prior than right now.
When the team was looking for veteran pass-catchers, very few names would’ve made more sense than Sanu. With eight seasons under his belt, a Super Bowl appearance and 92 total starts, pretty much any team wouldn’t mind having a receiver with a track record like Sanu’s.
Consistently the No. 3 or No. 2 option throughout his career, Sanu is adept in just about every area. However, the 49ers do have other receivers that offer a similar jack-of-all-trades skillset, case in point being Bourne.
Sanu wouldn’t walk into the starting lineup, but if the team did have to sign him, it likely wouldn’t take long for the 49ers to get him to the No. 3 or No. 4 spot.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the NFL for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.