49ers Rumors: Dede Westbrook Has Had 'Preliminary Communication' With SF

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 24, 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (12) runs a route during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Dede Westbrook could be headed west for the upcoming season.

According to NFL reporter Josina Anderson, the former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver has had "preliminary communication" with the San Francisco 49ers as he nears a return from his ACL injury.

Westbrook had season-ending surgery to repair the injury in November and should be able to resume football activities once it has been eight months since his operation, per Anderson. 

Westbrook was limited in his two games in 2020, but he was a major contributor to Jacksonville's offense in his first three seasons. After being drafted in the fourth round out of Oklahoma in 2017 and appearing in seven games, Westbrook missed just one game between the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

He had a career year in 2018, when he played all 16 games, finishing with 717 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He started a career-high 11 games the next year and appeared in 15 outings, with 660 yards and three scores.

The 49ers aren't the only team interested in the 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner. Anderson reported earlier this month that the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals had also spoken to the 27-year-old. 

The 49ers are in decent shape on the receiving end, with 2020 leader Brandon Aiyuk (748 yards, five touchdowns) due to return. While the team lost Kendrick Bourne to the New England Patriots, George Kittle will return at tight end and Deebo Samuel is expected to be more of a factor after playing in just seven games due to injuries and time on the COVID-19 list. 

What's unclear for the 49ers is who will be throwing those balls, with Jimmy Garoppolo joining No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance in a suddenly crowded quarterback room. 

Wherever Westbrook ends up, he has proven himself as a capable receiver and it's no surprise that there are plenty of teams interested in him.