One of the biggest needs for the San Francisco 49ers heading into free agency (and if not addressed there, the 2012 NFL Draft) is wide receiver. The signing of Randy Moss to a one-year deal laden with incentives and low on risk doesn't change the fact that the 49ers don't have a true No. 1 target as the go-to guy. It's now abundantly clear that Michael Crabtree isn't going to be that guy, so the team could be active once free agency opens at 1:00 p.m. pacific.
There will be one less guy on the market though, as Jay Glazer is reporting via Twitter (with a scoopage, or something) that the New Orleans Saints have agreed to bring Marques Colston back on a five-year deal. There's no details on the dollar amount yet, but it's important for a couple reasons.
For one, Colston was considered one of the top three receivers to hit the open market. The others are Mike Wallace and Vincent Jackson, though the former is a restricted free agent with a first-round tender applied to him. His re-signing means that teams needy at the position may pay higher for guys like Jackson or even the mid-tier of receiver set to hit (including San Francisco's own Josh Morgan).
For two, it means that the Saints may not be able to sign some other important pieces, who could now be hitting the market in a matter of hours. One such piece is offensive guard Carl Nicks, who the 49ers would definitely benefit from having. Nicks is among the league's best guards, and while the 49ers haven't truly been linked to him, it's an interesting possibility with the Saints possibly out of the picture.
In regards to Colston, some teams were wary of him, anyway. His skill-set is not thoroughly broad, nor is he "the" highlight reel receiver, he's just crazy productive. The biggest question mark is how much of that is him and how much of that is the Saints' high-flying offense. It's ridiculously hard to judge their receivers, and it was probably best for everyone that Colston remained with the Saints.