The San Francisco 49ers have been struggling mightily on offense; they rank 29th in total offense (yards per game). QB Blaine Gabbert is having difficulty leading this team. He ranks 27th in total yards, with an abysmal 5.5 yards per attempt. HC Chip Kelly, an alleged offensive guru, has not yet lived up to his reputation.
The 49ers’ offensive performance against the Carolina Panthers was wasn’t fantastic, despite putting up 27 points.
Against the Seattle Seahawks in week 2, they needed to respond in a big way, and instead scored 3 points. They did score 15 more later on, but only in garbage time with the game already far beyond reach.
According to many reports, in order to bolster their wide receiver depth, the 49ers have signed WR Keshawn Martin.
#49ers sign WR Keshawn Martin, a journeyman in the NFL. They’re probably trying to find a gem somewhere, because this offense needs a spark.
— Tej Kamaraju (@TejKSports) September 28, 2016
Martin had originally been playing with the New England Patriots before being released in the final roster cuts. In four seasons, he has 62 catches for 685 yards and five touchdowns.
WR Torrey Smith, WR Jeremy Kerely, and WR Quinton Patton have not been providing the offense with a spark. These receivers are hardly to blame, however, mostly because Gabbert has struggled this season thus far and is yet to prove he ever deserved the starting job in the first place.
So what does Martin bring to the table?
Well, Gabbert is quite inaccurate, as many have noted after watching him this season. Martin, on occasion, has the ability to adjust well to off-target throws. When QB Tom Brady did throw an inaccurate pass, Martin would contort his body and do whatever it took to catch the ball.
His length also enables him to grab passes that are overthrown.
This is a solid move for the 49ers. Martin is a smart football player with the ability to make difficult catches. In order for that to happen, however, Gabbert must be able to see a potential play with Martin running the field.
Martin isn’t going to come in and instantly reinvigorate the offense. There’s a reason that he was still a free agent until the 49ers signed him. Chances are, they are looking for a hidden gem in Martin to tap into some of his potential. If he does prove to be valuable, Gabbert may finally have a go-to guy, which would be huge for the 49ers’ offensive game.