49ers roster: 5 players who are playing themselves off the team
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers hope they’ve turned a page after their Week 8 win, but these five players are still not providing the answers and are in danger of losing a roster spot.
The 2021 NFL trade deadline has come and gone, and as expected, the San Francisco 49ers weren’t exactly major players on the open market.
That means whatever moves general manager John Lynch and Co. make between now and the end of the season will have to either involve adding free agents and/or parting ways with players on their current roster.
At 3-4, the Niners have a long way to go to get back into the playoff discussion and to stay there. And while San Francisco’s Week 8 win over the Chicago Bears might have provided some answers, there are still a number of players who aren’t exactly doing Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan any favors.
If anything, these five players are working their respective ways off the roster instead of finding ways to spark a 49ers bounce-back.
No. 5: 49ers Wide Receiver Travis Benjamin
Earlier in the year when second-year wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk was clearly in Shanahan’s doghouse, veteran wideout Travis Benjamin was at least sniffing the possibility of seeing an increased role.
Yet Benjamin has only been active for one game this year, Week 5 on the road against the Arizona Cardinals, seeing a scant three targets and zero receptions, albeit with rookie quarterback Trey Lance trying to get him the ball.
With fellow receiver Deebo Samuel off to a torrid pace, and now Aiyuk working his way back into Shanahan’s good graces, it’s evidently clear Benjamin’s role with the team is all but non-existent.
Fellow veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu has claimed the No. 3 spot on the depth chart, meaning Benjamin is pushed way down to the No. 6 option with receiver Trent Sherfield at least assuming a role on special teams and second-year pro Jauan Jennings in the mix, too.
The Niners clearly have no need for Benjamin and can part ways with him with zero implications.