5 potential roster cuts 49ers could target after training camp
By Peter Panacy
There will be plenty of newly available free agents after roster cuts, and the 49ers would be wise to peruse the transaction wire to see who’s out there before Week 1.
If you think the San Francisco 49ers are all but finished with their projections for the 53-man roster heading into the 2021 season, think again.
For starters, all teams are eventually going to have to trim down their offseason rosters from 90 players to the eventual 53 shortly before the regular season hits, meaning well over a third of the league’s players will suddenly find themselves searching for new employment.
While many of these players will never play another NFL-level down again, and some merely have hopes of landing on a practice squad somewhere, there are likely to be some pretty high-profile names out there on the market.
As a reference, both ESPN and Bleacher Report listed some potential post-training camp cuts around the league. Whether these possible pre-Week 1 cuts are cap casualties or are merely pushed off their own respective rosters by younger, cheaper players is pure speculation at this point.
Yet head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch won’t hesitate to check out the waiver wire and significantly increased free-agent list to see if there are ways to improve their own roster heading into the regular season.
Perhaps even with these five possible pre-Week 1 cut candidates.
49ers Target No. 5: Wide Receiver Steven Sims, Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team made some notable additions at wide receiver this offseason, inking Adam Humphries and then drafting Dax Milne, and both of those players could easily replace the 2019 undrafted free agent, Steven Sims, on slot duties.
Sims, 24 years old and 5-foot-10, has dual-threat rushing/receiving abilities and was modestly capable his rookie year, hauling in 34 catches for 310 yards and four touchdowns before injuries got the best of him last season.
And while ball security is a bit of an issue for Sims, he does have some versatility as a return specialist, which could potentially check off a box for a team like the Niners.
Currently, San Francisco has yet to identify a slot receiver heading into 2021. Mohamed Sanu could potentially do it, but he’s getting up there in age, and second-year pro Jauan Jennings remains something of a project.
Perhaps fourth-year pro Richie James wins out here, but it’s possible Shanahan likes the versatility and “positionless” nature someone like Sims offers.