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  • Colin Kaepernick: The second-year player tells NFL Network that Alex Smith served as a mentor to him this past season, and that the two quarterbacks are "great friends."

  • Matt Barrows

49ers notes: Moss tweets team goodbye

Published: Sunday, Mar. 3, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Sunday, Mar. 3, 2013 - 7:36 am

SANTA CLARA – Randy Moss appears to have run a fade route on Twitter.

The veteran wide receiver, who said he thought he should have been used more in the 49ers' offense last season, bid his former team a fond farewell on the social media site.

Moss will become a free agent March 12, and to this point there has been no talk between Moss and the 49ers about another year.

"Wished we could've finished the job!!," Moss wrote Saturday night, "thanks for the opportunity an good luck in the future 9ers."

Moss received constant kudos from head coach Jim Harbaugh in 2012 for his work ethic both on the field and in the classroom, and the young 49ers hung on Moss' every word as if he were a shaman.

But Moss split playing time with two other receivers – Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams – early in the season, and even when those two were injured late in the year, Moss didn't see a lot of passes thrown his way. He caught 28 passes for 434 yards and three touchdowns, and he had none of the deep receptions that made him famous and for why he someday will be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

At the Super Bowl, Moss, 36, said he wanted to play in 2013. Would it be in San Francisco, he was asked? "I don't know about that," he said. "Next question."

Moss also used the "next question" tactic when asked, earlier in the year, if he was happy with his scant playing time. When pressed on the topic later in the session, he demurred, "Because it's really not up to me. Like I said, I come out here and practice every day and when called upon, I just go out there and try to make a play. It's not up to me."

At the NFL combine last month, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke sounded a lot like Harbaugh in celebrating the receiver's leadership skills and intelligence. Baalke, however, was noncommittal when asked about another season with Moss. "We're certainly happy that he was there," Baalke said. "Is he going to return this year? I don't know that yet.

Without Moss, the 49ers would have few options for the wideout spot opposite Michael Crabtree. Manningham and Williams both are returning from late-season ACL tears, and the 49ers seem as unwilling to strike a new deal with Ted Ginn as they do with Moss. Meanwhile, 2012 first-round pick A.J. Jenkins, who didn't catch a pass last season, currently is working out in Atlanta with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, Smith are cool – The last time quarterback Alex Smith was in a starter-backup controversy, he ended up being a groomsman in the wedding party of his competitor, Shaun Hill (and vice versa). So it's probably not surprising Smith and Kaepernick got along well even after Kaepernick replaced Smith as the 49ers' starting quarterback.

"He's been a great friend, a great mentor," Kaepernick said on NFL Network last week.

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