SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The San Francisco 49ers could be looking to former division rivals to address key areas of need in free agency.
According to multiple reports, wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and defensive lineman Darnell Dockett will be meeting with San Francisco this week. Both have recently been released by the Arizona Cardinals, who finished 11-5 last season, leap frogging the 49ers into second place in the competitive NFC West.
The 49ers have obvious needs at both positions. Michael Crabtree is set to hit the free agent market and appears unlikely to return for a seventh season in San Francisco. Along the defensive line, Justin Smith continues to mull retirement even after the team cut Ray McDonald late last season after his second run-in with the law since August.
Ginn, of course, played for the 49ers from 2010 to 2012 as the team's primary return man. He was effective, but parted with San Francisco to join the Carolina Panthers in free agency. He spent a season there before moving on the Cardinals after his one-year contract in Carolina ran its course.
With the emergence of rookie wideout John Brown last season, Ginn was hard-pressed to find a role as a receiver worthy of his $3.25 million cap number, making him expendable.
Dockett missed all of last season after tearing an ACL. But until last summer, he started 156 of 158 career games for Arizona. He has 40.5 sacks, four interceptions and nine forced fumbles since getting drafted in the third round in 2004.
Free agency and the new league year officially begin March 10.