Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers Trim Roster To 53 Players

The San Francisco 49ers trimmed down their roster to 53 players on Saturday, getting one step closer to the start of the regular season.

The Niners waived 21 players and placed tight end/defensive tackle Demarcus Dobbs on the Reserve/Suspended List. On August 14, Dobbs was given a one-game suspension by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse.

Some of the notable players released by the Niners were long snapper Brian Jennings and receivers Austin Collie and Lavelle Hawkins.

The news that Jennings was cut from the team was a little bit of a shock. He is one of the best long snappers in the league, which why he has been in San Francisco since 2000. The biggest reason why he was cut did not have to do with his declining skills, but was because of the salary cap. He was competing with undrafted rookie free agent Kevin McDermott during training camp and the preseason at the long snapper position. With McDermott as the long snapper his salary of $405k is much lower than what the Niners would have had to pay Jennings, who would made $940k.

Jennings was in the unique position to see the end of the 49ers’ glory years in the early 2000s, the decade of decline that followed and a new resurgence with a Super Bowl appearance. He counted Jeff Garcia, Colin Kaepernick, Jerry Rice, Michael Crabtree, Garrison Hearst, Frank Gore, Bryant Young, Aldon Smith, Ken Norton Jr. and Patrick Willis, amongst others, as teammates. And he played under the Mariucci, Erickson, Nolan, Singletary, and Harbaugh coaching regimes.

While it’s sad to see Jennings no longer in San Francisco, I really hope McDermott will be able to handle the job. Long snapper is a position that is often overlooked, but it’s just as vital as the other positions. Jim Harbaugh and special teams coach Brad Seely obviously believe McDermott can get the job done. Plus, he did not have any miscues in the preseason games. Still, it will take some getting used to not seeing Jennings on the field for the 49ers.

Collie showed some flashes in the preseason and his 173 career receptions, which was second-most among the active receivers on the roster, gave him an inside edge to make the team. But there was concern with his durability as he has suffered multiple concussions in career and he recently recovered from a ruptured patella.

One receiver I thought would make the team was Hawkins, especially after the last two weeks of him making attention grabbing plays. He returned a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings and he had a video game like catch and run for a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers. But not even his highlight making plays was enough to force Harbaugh to add him to the roster and keep six receivers.

Here is the full list of the 21 players cut from the Niners’ roster:

T Carter Bykowski

WR Austin Collie

CB Marcus Cooper

TE MarQueis Gray

WR Chad Hall

RB Jewel Hampton

WR Lavelle Hawkins

LB Joe Holland

WR Chuck Jacobs

LS Brian Jennings

LB Travis Johnson

CB Darryl Morris

G Patrick Omameh

WR Kassim Osgood

NT Mike Purcell

S Trenton Robinson

FB Jason Schepler

S Michael Thomas

G Wayne Tribue

QB Seneca Wallace

T Kenny Wiggins

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