The Niners went heavy on offense, to be sure. And it’s hard to determine if there was a bigger resonance among free agents than the signing of Randy Moss, who hasn’t played since 2010.
He’s a future Hall of Famer, but he’s 35 and hasn’t played in nearly two years. Does he have the legs? The flexibility and strength? His hands have always been great, but it’s his speed, height and jumping ability that created the danger.
What the Niners want and need is an “over the top” receiver who makes at least one safety back off and provide help deep. That opens up the mid-level crossing routes in the middle of the field, which happen to be Alex Smith’s forte in terms of passing effectiveness.
Moss doesn’t have to catch a lot of passes to be effective for the 49ers, but he does have to strike fear in the defenses. And in that aspect he’ll be battling Ted Ginn Jr. for that role. Ginn, one of the league’s best punt and kick returners, isn’t as big as, nor has the hands of Moss.
At the same time, with Moss stretching the defense, that allows Mario Manningham (pictured), as well as Michael Crabtree, more opportunities with single coverage.
I still believe the Niners are not done in this area, and will look to add more speed or height at this position. It will be the biggest focus of training camp and it’s not guaranteed that Ginn, Kyle Williams nor Moss have a spot on the team. All have one-year contracts that wouldn’t impact the team’s salary cap all that much.