It's Day 4 of the 2014 NFL free-agency period, and former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has yet to find a suitor. In fact, it took quite some time for interest to generate in the 2013 breakout receiver.
According to a tweet from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Edelman will finally get his first free-agency visit with the San Francisco 49ers on Friday:
The 49ers are certainly in need of Edelman's services, as they can use a speedy wide receiver to complement possession receivers Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. However, getting a deal done with Edelman may be difficult.
San Francisco is not in a good way in terms of cap space. According to Spotrac.com, the 49ers have just over $4.7 million in available room. This could pose a problem, as Edelman has already turned down a contract offer from the Patriots, according to a tweet from Ian Rapoport:
At this point, Julian Edelman has turned down an offer from the #Patriots and tried to gauge his market. Should get clarity tomorrow in SF— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2014
The 49ers and other wide-receiver needy teams have plenty of other options as well. ESPN insider Adam Schefter tweeted that the team is also interested in former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks:
Patriots free-agent WR Julian Edelman is scheduled to visit the 49ers on Friday, per source. SF also interested in Giants WR Hakeem Nicks.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2014
The Cleveland Browns were also reported to have interest in Edelman; however, with the Cincinnati Bengals unlikely to match the Browns' offer sheet for Andrew Hawkins, the pursuit for Edelman could be over, according to a tweet from Marc Sessler of NFL.com:
The Baltimore Ravens are another team looking to add a wide receiver. Although, after the Carolina Panthers released Steve Smith, it appears that Baltimore will focus on him, according to a tweet from ESPN's David Newton:
Ravens already have called to inquire about just released #Panthers WR Steve Smith, per league source.— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) March 13, 2014
Other teams in need of wide receivers could easily wait for the 2014 NFL draft to come around. The crop is deep at the wide receiver position this year. Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Marqise Lee, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin and Allen Robinson all have first-round grades, according to CBSSports.com.
Even though Edelman broke out with a 105-reception performance for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns in 2013, he had not produced much beforehand.
To make matters worse for the wide receiver, he has a documented injury history as well, as the 2013 season what the first in which he managed to compete in all 16 games.
This certainly does not exude much confidence for potential suitors.
With all of these scenarios taken into consideration, it could be conceived that Edelman will have to settle for a bargain rate. If his meeting with the 49ers doesn't produce any enhanced interest, he may have to rethink the offer the Patriots submitted to him earlier in the free-agency period.