49ers' receiver target list shrinks

The San Francisco 49ers' options for a free-agent receiver shrunk Saturday when, as expected, Julian Edelman returned to the New England Patriots.

The Bay Area native visited with the 49ers on Friday. However, the pursuit was considered somewhat tepid. Edelman wasn’t a natural fit for the 49ers, anyway. He is a slot receiver and that’s a role Anquan Boldin occupies nicely.

The 49ers need a speed receiver and that’s why they are talking to Pittsburgh’s Emmanuel Sanders. He was supposed to visit the team Saturday night.

There is a possible hurdle for Sanders. ESPN.com’s Scott Brown is reporting some teams are worried about Sanders’ lingering foot issue, and it could affect his price tag. The 49ers, who currently have less than $4 million in salary-cap room, likely wouldn't pay Sanders much, anyway.

If the 49ers go on to look at other receivers in free agency, potential options are James Jones, Santonio Holmes and Sidney Rice.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Seattle cornerback Walter Thurmond is planning on taking other visits. He was in San Francisco on Friday. The 49ers are still interested in him.