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49ers Sign Willie Snead

Snead could be more than a mere "camp body" for the 49ers.
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A shallow wide receiver corps just got a little deeper.

The 49ers have signed veteran wide receiver Willie Snead, according to reports. The 49ers needed another wide receiver after placing Marcus Johnson in the concussion protocol today, although Snead could be more than a mere "camp body" for the 49ers. He actually could make the team.

Snead, 29, has started 48 games in his career for the Saints and Ravens. He also has caught 279 passes and 16 touchdowns. The former undrafted free agent has been a quality No. 3 receiver who can start if necessary.

The 49ers need a wide receiver who fits that description. Because although they have lots of No. 3 receivers, none of them look good enough to start if Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk were to ever miss a game. Jauan Jennings isn't a starter -- he's a big slot receiver who's too slow to play outside -- he runs a 4.7. Ray-Ray McCloud isn't a starter, either -- he's a gadget player who catches screens and runs reverses.

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McCloud and Jennings certainly have roles in the offense, and Snead doesn't yet. But he has the profile to start for a game here and there if they need him to.

Snead was effective in this role as recently as 2020 when he played for the Ravens and caught 33 passes in 13 games. Last season, he signed with the Raiders, and they released him midseason. Then he signed with the Panthers and struggled with them as well. He finished 2021 with just four catches. He might have nothing left to offer.

We'll find out soon enough.