San Francisco 49ers: 5 current players who won’t make 2021 roster
By Peter Panacy
With the 49ers moves in free agency and the upcoming NFL Draft, these five rostered players are likely to be shown the door by Week 1.
The first major chapter of the San Francisco 49ers‘ attempt to get the roster back towards Super Bowl contention is now complete, finishing up with the opening wave of NFL free agency.
There will continually be more free-agent additions in the coming weeks while the rest of the league gears up for the 2021 NFL Draft this April, and that even itself will alter what the Niners want to do when it comes to formulating their Week 1 53-man roster.
The bulk of general manager John Lynch’s free-agent pickups were based on re-signing key players like left tackle Trent Williams, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, cornerback Jason Verrett, safety Jaquiski Tartt and nose tackle D.J. Jones. These, along with some of the other moves to bring in fresh faces, have a direct impact on other players who were probably going to be on the roster bubble anyway.
But perhaps these moves only make that point more evident.
At any rate, in light of San Francisco’s NFL free agency class so far this offseason, one should probably expect these five players not to make the cut by the time Week 1 rolls around.
No. 5: 49ers Center Weston Richburg
It’s almost unfair to put veteran center Weston Richburg on this list, as reports are he’ll retire this offseason after suffering a serious knee injury late in 2019 before undergoing multiple surgeries since, which knocked him out from his 2020 campaign.
Even if Richburg wanted to hang around the league a little longer, the 49ers would be moving on anyway. Particularly in the wake of signing veteran center Alex Mack, a six-time Pro Bowler, to fill the void.
Mack is a plug-and-play starter, of course, and the Niners are poised to generate over $1 million in cap savings by parting ways with Richburg this offseason and then over $9 million in 2022, according to Over the Cap.
From both the onfield availability and financial perspectives, San Francisco has no reason to keep Richburg around, shifting fully to Mack instead with the hopes of solidifying the interior of its offensive line in 2021 and beyond.