This week, the San Francisco 49ers released Braylon Edwards and left open a gaping hole in their receiving core. With the 2nd Seed of the NFC almost locked up, the loss of Edwards (even though he was injured) is tricky. Quarterback Alex Smith has a good arm and needs help if the Niners plan to make any distance in the playoffs.
Knowing the sudden need in San Francisco, fans were awkwardly shocked when an out-of-nowhere receiver decided to ‘tweet’ his interest to the team: T.O. Aka… the I-go-from-team-to-team-and-burn-bridges Terrell Owens. Coach Jim Harbaugh is not likely to risk the positive attitude his Niners have right now by putting a wild card receiver on the team. Not to mention, a receiver who already played in San Francisco only to diss his quarterback at the time (Jeff Garcia) and eventually play for the team’s greatest nemesis: the Dallas Cowboys. Along the way, Owens played for Philadelphia, Buffalo and Cincinnati, showing his lack of staying power. Harbaugh is in the process of building a team that he wants to compete for years to come and Owens is a temporary bad apple. Not exactly the kind of team-building option the Niners need right now.
With all that in mind, Alex Smith might only need to play safe through the playoffs. San Francisco’s defense is playing better than any other group in the NFL. And this week, Harbaugh is considering the possibility of letting Patrick Willis return after his right hamstring injury a few weeks ago. The reason? If the Niners can shut down the St. Louis Rams during the final week of the regular season on Sunday, they will earn a second round bye and a much needed week of rest. One less team to fight in the playoffs means one week closer to the Super Bowl and a chance to compete for their sixth title.
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