49ers roster cuts: 4 players San Francisco will regret letting go

Defensive back Dontae Johnson #48 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Defensive back Dontae Johnson #48 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Wayne Gallman, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers running back Wayne Gallman (22) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers have finalized their initial 53 man roster for 2021 in the wake of roster cuts, yet they might end up regretting placing these four players on the chopping block.

The San Francisco 49ers, and every other NFL team for that matter, just went through what might be the most difficult roster-related period of the year: trimming the roster down to the final 53 players who’ll be scheduled to take the field in Week 1 of the regular season.

There will be some minor adjustments between now and then, yes, including the free-agent and waiver-wire frenzy that follows in the wake of widespread cuts, as teams across the league look to add talent and upgrade wherever possible.

For the most part, though, teams like the Niners are roughly 95-percent set with their regular-season squads to start the season.

It’s good cuts are so challenging. And in San Francisco’s case, a playoff-hopeful roster ultimately means there will be some starting-caliber options let go.

Yet there’s also the “I hope this isn’t the wrong move” factor at play here, and there’s a good chance the 49ers end up regretting letting these four players go as part of their final cuts.

49ers Cut No. 4: Running Back Wayne Gallman

It’s great to see second-year pro JaMycal Hasty and sixth-round rookie Elijah Mitchell make the squad to round out the Niners running back room.

But it came at the expense of the veteran, Wayne Gallman, who’ll likely wind up being snatched up by another team in the near future.

Granted, San Francisco probably wasn’t going to keep five running backs anyway, and now Gallman has the chance to land elsewhere where his role will be bigger than it would have been behind the two presumed rushers atop the depth chart, Raheem Mostert and Trey Sermon.

While Hasty and Mitchell have their advantages, not even including cheap contracts, Gallman’s upside would have been twofold.

First, it might be risky asking two rookies and a seldom-used second-year pro to support an injury-prone Mostert. And second, perhaps even more importantly, Gallman’s solid pass-blocking skills could be missed. Pro Football Focus gave him a solid 63.8 mark in this category during the preseason.

The youth movement might work out for the 49ers, but passing on Gallman could end up being one of those unavoidable roster mistakes.