Free agent wide receivers 49ers can target while Deebo Samuel is out

Free agent wide receivers 49ers can target while Deebo Samuel is out
The 49ers on Thursday got some bad injury news. Second-year wide receiver Deebo Samuel went down with a fractured foot that is expected to sideline him for 12-to-16 weeks according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Samuel is more optimistic about his timeline and expects to be back within 10 weeks. San Francisco has some decent…

The 49ers on Thursday got some bad injury news. Second-year wide receiver Deebo Samuel went down with a fractured foot that is expected to sideline him for 12-to-16 weeks according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Samuel is more optimistic about his timeline and expects to be back within 10 weeks.

San Francisco has some decent depth at receiver, but they could look into adding a veteran free agent in Samuel’s absence, especially since Trent Taylor had a similar injury last season that wound up pushing him out for the season while he dealt with complications after surgery.

The pickings are slim on the free agent market in mid-June, but the 49ers won’t likely need a big-time player. Samuel is on track to return either right before or early on in the regular season. Adding a veteran player to push for a roster spot and possibly contribute might be a worthwhile move.

Here are a few names that stand out among the NFL’s free agent receivers:

Taylor Gabriel

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a little surprising the 49ers didn’t make a play for Gabriel earlier in the offseason. He spent 2014 in Kyle Shanahan’s offense with the Browns, and another season in 2016 with the Falcons. Two of Gabriel’s three most productive seasons came in Shanahan’s system, and his familiarity with the offense would make his transition easier whenever the team is allowed to have in-person workouts. In 29 games in Shanahan’s offense, Gabriel had 71 catches, 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns.

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