49ers sign special teams standout Kassim Osgood, waive WR Joe Hastings

6/5/13 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

FanIQ | Sports Rumors, Gossip, Blogs, News & Discussion ForumsThe San Francisco 49ers continue to bolster their special teams, after the unit performed averagely last season, by signing special teams standout and wide receiver Kassim Osgood to a one-year contract on Tuesday.
 
Although Osgood made his three Pro Bowl appearances (2006, 2007, and 2009) at the wide receiver position, he accumulated only 16 passes over the past three years, including zero receptions last season with the Detroit. Osgood has predominantly played in a special teams role, and looks to improve the 49ers’ kickoff coverage over the following season.
 
The 49ers are probably still haunted by the memory of longest kickoff return allowed in Super Bowl history. Jacoby Jones returned a second-half kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown, bumping the Baltimore Ravens’ score to 28-6 en route to their eventual 34-31 win four months ago. The 49ers’ special teams unit just hasn’t been as good since 2011, when they let Blake Costanzo walkaway the following offseason and then traded Colin Jones prior to the 2012 season. These moves contributed to the 49ers special teams units’ struggles last season.
 
The 49ers added special-teamer/ safety Ray Ventrone to their 90-man roster only a day ago. Now, Osgood will be joining his third NFL team in the last four seasons. Osgood was rumored to have re-signed with the Lions earlier during free agency. But later it was confirmed that the Lions didn’t offer him a contract, opting to go with other options to upgrade their special teams unit (most recently signing Montell Owens).
 
Prior to the 2012 season, Osgood spent two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, with whom he signed a three-year contract in 2010, before being released in free agency last year. He also spent seven seasons with the San Diego Chargers, who initially signed him as an undrafted free agent out of San Diego State University in 2003.
 
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Osgood was a wide receiver at San Diego State University, catching 108 passes as a senior to finish second in the nation and earn First-Team All-Mountain West honors in 2002.
 
During his pro career, Osgood appeared in 152 career games with the Chargers, Jaguars and Lions, catching 44 passes for 749 yards and five touchdowns. The 33-year-old Osgood also registered 122 tackles while playing on the special teams during his 10-year NFL career.
 
The 49ers also waived Joe Hastings in a corresponding move on Tuesday, to open a roster spot for Osgood. The 6-foot, 185-pound Hastings had only recently signed with the 49ers in early May.
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