While rumors continue to link the 49ers with Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, the team is looking closely at one of Cousins’ top pass catchers in recent years.
The NFL Network reported Tuesday that the 49ers have “set their sights on” Pierre Garcon, who has been in Washington since 2012 and had his best-ever season in 2013 when Kyle Shanahan was his offensive coordinator there.
Receiver is a major need for the 49ers, especially after parting ways earlier this week with Torrey Smith, one of the few experienced pass catchers on their roster. The only one remaining who fits that description is Jeremy Kerley, who agreed to a new three-year deal on Saturday.
Washington is not expected to make a major push to retain Garcon, 30.
The coaches there wanted him to be more versatile. He preferred to remain at the X, or split-end, spot in the offense, and according to reports out of Washington, he requested a trade early last year. Garcon is tough, makes catches in traffic and has been described as being similar to former 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who led the team in receiving the three seasons he was in San Francisco.
Garcon, however, is not a speed receiver, and the 49ers could add other wideouts in free agency even if they are able to acquire Garcon after the market officially opens at 1 p.m. Thursday.