Niners decline contract option on WR Pierre Garcon

A weak wide receiver market will see a veteran join the ranks.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Thursday morning on Good Morning Football that the San Francisco 49ers will not pick up the contract option on receiver Pierre Garcon. The team later made the news official.

The move doesn't come as a major surprise as the 32-year-old struggled to stay healthy. In two seasons in San Francisco, Garcon played just 16 total games. He missed eight tilts in 2018 due to shoulder and knee issues before ultimately landing on injured reserve to end the season. It's the second straight year his campaign ended on IR.

The decision to not pick up the option was production-based not financial, as the 49ers will be hit with $7.2 million in dead money while saving just $1.075 million on the salary cap.

When healthy, Garcon displayed he can still be a reliable outside target who can separate from defensive backs with good route-running and body positioning. Garafolo notes that, turning 33 in August, Garcon plans to continue his career.

The free-agent market for receivers is about as thin as tissue paper -- zero wideouts made Gregg Rosenthal's top 25 free agents analysis -- so Garcon could still find a landing spot for a team looking to add a veteran receiver. If he can finally stay healthy, Garcon could be a stellar depth addition to a squad and shouldn't be costly.

For the Niners, some might convolute the decision to mean John Lynch is making a move on Antonio Brown. In reality, Garcon was likely to be gone regardless of any other move San Francisco is to make at receiver.

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