49ers: 4 players who could be cut before playing a snap in 2021
By Peter Panacy
These four newly added 49ers players could end up being cut before they even take a regular-season snap with the team this season.
The San Francisco 49ers aren’t going to be strangers to overhype and maxed out excitement at a time of year when positive statements seem to flourish about every single player on the 90-man offseason roster.
If the Niners added a player during the offseason who spent his 2020 campaign elsewhere, he’ll turn into a “gem” of a find and thrive in his new digs, especially if he struggled beforehand. Or if that player is a rookie NFL Draft pick, well, he’s already awesome. Never mind the reality the overwhelming majority of first-year players never come close to meeting their expected levels of ability.
The hard reality is a significant portion of any offseason roster won’t make the cut, and that’ll ultimately include players added during the months leading up to Week 1.
In San Francisco’s case, these four newly added players may never wind up taking a regular-season snap with the 49ers despite being onboarded this offseason.
No. 4: 49ers Running Back Wayne Gallman
Early on after signing a one-year deal in free agency, former New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman seemed to be a near lock to make the Niners’ 53-man roster. Those chances eroded, however, after San Francisco drafted to rookies, Ohio State’s Trey Sermon and Louisiana-Lafayette’s Elijah Mitchell, then increased again after the 49ers lost veteran running back Jeff Wilson Jr. to a meniscus tear that’ll sideline him four to six months.
That said, Gallman is by no means assured a roster spot despite Wilson’s setback.
In addition to Sermon and Mitchell, who have been receiving a lot of looks during organized team activities, the Niners are also fielding runners Raheem Mostert and JaMycal Hasty, the latter looking fully recovered from his 2020 ACL tear and participating well during OTAs.
Plus, with Wilson as a possible midseason reinforcement, it’ll be a surprise if San Francisco keeps five running backs on its 53-man roster this season.
Gallman has zero in guaranteed money on his one-year contract, meaning he’d be an easy cut if the 49ers decide he doesn’t need to be a part of the equation this year.