SANTA CLARA Add former Steeler and Giant Plaxico Burress to the list of prominent wide receivers the 49ers are eyeing.
Reports out of New York, where Burress last played in 2008, said he was flying to the Bay Area late Saturday to meet with team officials.
Burress, 33, visited the Steelers on Saturday morning. He also is considering a return to the Giants, and reportedly is interested in the Jets and Eagles. Philadelphia made a huge splash Friday by signing former Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, a free agent the 49ers were pursuing.
Burress was released from prison last month after serving nearly two years stemming from an incident in which he accidently shot himself in the thigh in a New York nightclub in November 2008. In 2007, his last full season in the NFL, Burress caught 70 passes for 1,025 yards and scored 12 touchdowns.
The 49ers' interest in Burress follows news that their top wideout, Michael Crabtree, is dealing with a foot injury.
Crabtree was placed on the physically unable to perform list Thursday and was walking around in a boot during the opening practice of training camp Friday. If Crabtree remains on the PUP list when the season starts, he will have to miss the first six weeks.
San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke declined to discuss Burress or any free-agent visitors. But he did say Crabtree's injury "really doesn't have anything to do with whether we're bringing in another receiver."
The 49ers' biggest catch in free agency has been a kicker, David Akers, who signed a three-year contract on Saturday. Baalke said he understood the fans' frustration over the team's slow approach.
"It's tough for the fans to look at it and hear us say we're going to take a patient approach when we've had as many seasons as we've had and not made the playoffs," he said. "That's totally understandable. But we are going to be patient. We have been patient. We do have a plan, and we're executing the plan. And I guess the only thing is the test of time. And how successful this plan is will be measured by how successful we'll become on the field."
When it comes to wide receivers, the team is looking at some flashy names. Burress caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLII. The 49ers also were among the teams hoping to trade with Cincinnati for Chad Ochocinco, a six-time Pro Bowl selection who ended up being dealt to the Patriots.
The 49ers also have shown interest in Chargers free-agent wide receiver Malcom Floyd, who is from West Sacramento.
With Crabtree out, the 49ers' top two wide receivers are Josh Morgan and Ted Ginn. Both are entering the final year of their contracts, another reason for the 49ers to be shopping for a capable pass catcher.