NFC West teams are collecting wide receivers from their division rivals' discard piles.
It happened Friday when the San Francisco 49ers claimed Charly Martin off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. In April, the Seahawks signed former 49ers receiver Brett Swain. Earlier, Seattle also signed former Arizona Cardinals receiver Stephen Williams.
These sorts of signings lend themselves to rivalry narratives, but it's not like Martin, Swain or Williams are striking fear in their former teams. They are developmental players who ran their course with one team and could benefit from new opportunity. They'll be fighting for roster spots. The 49ers think receiver Ricardo Lockette, formerly of the Seahawks, could become one such success story.
San Francisco has been seeking receiver depth this offseason while Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham recover from injuries. Brandon Carswell suffered a torn ACL in his first practice after the 49ers signed him. Martin, 29, fills that roster spot. He has five receptions, two for first downs, on seven targets while with Seattle and Carolina.