5 biggest takeaways from 49ers roster cuts in 2019
By Peter Panacy
The San Francisco 49ers have trimmed their roster down to 53 players, parting ways with some well-known players in the process. Here are the biggest deductions and takeaways from their moves.
We now have a pretty good idea what the San Francisco 49ers‘ 53-man roster will look like when the 2019 regular season kicks off in Week 1.
There are likely to be some minor tweaks between now and the Niners’ kickoff contest on Sept. 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and it’s always a disappointment for a player on the fringe of the roster, who is told he made the cut yet winds up being let go for another. But that’s the reality of life at the NFL level.
San Francisco went through an initial wave of cuts on Friday, parting ways with nine players. Saturday’s cuts saw additional players released.
While not totally surprising, the 49ers let go of some relatively well-known names, including wide receiver Jordan Matthews, offensive guard Joshua Garnett and safety Adrian Colbert. These moves, along with many of the others, actually end up telling us a good deal about what the Niners’ plans are for the 53-man roster.
Niner Noise takes a look at what the top five takeaways are from San Francisco’s final phase of roster cuts ahead of the 2019 season.
No. 5: Offensive Line Depth Still a Question
Parting ways with Garnett shouldn’t have been too surprising. After all, the 49ers previously indicated they wouldn’t pick up the former first-round NFL Draft pick’s fifth-year option. And he fell out of favor with head coach Kyle Shanahan as far back as 2017.
That said, the Niners’ offensive line depth remains a weakness — something revealed during their 24-15 exhibition win over the Denver Broncos a few weeks ago, when the team was without center Weston Richburg (knee) and right guard Mike Person (foot).
And it won’t be helped by undrafted rookie Ross Reynolds, who was an offseason favorite, but didn’t make final cuts.
The 49ers didn’t have faith in Garnett being able to adequately back up Person and left guard Laken Tomlinson, which suggests the team will be actively perusing the waiver wire and trade market between now and Week 1.
Remember, the Niners have made last-second trades to upgrade the O-line in each of the last two years: Tomlinson in 2017 and swing tackle Shon Coleman last year.
Coleman is on injured reserve with an ankle/leg injury, only pushing this concern higher up the list of priorities San Francisco should worry about.