This year, perhaps more than others, the 49ers are going to be forced to part ways with good-level talent after training camp, meaning these 53 man roster cuts are possible.
It’s actually a good thing for a team like the San Francisco 49ers needing to bid farewell to players who’d likely stand an excellent shot at starting.
If anything, it means the roster is awfully deep.
Yet the more talent a team like the Niners has, the more there’ll ultimately be on the outside, looking in.
Such is the case heading into 2022 training camp later this July where some notable position battles will take shape, and we’ll have a much better idea of who is on the bubble and who’s likely safe.
Despite anyone’s best predictions, though, there are always surprises when it comes to whittling down the 90-man offseason roster, and this pre-Week 1 inevitability could reveal some more shockers when it comes to roster cuts.
Including these five potential subtractions who’d be surprising.
49ers surprise roster cut No. 5: EDGE Samson Ebukam
Earlier this offseason, it made some sense to regard EDGE Samson Ebukam as a player who could emerge as a cap casualty, as paying him the $8.25 million due in 2022 in the wake of just 4.5 regular-season sacks last year would seem like a hefty charge for a marginal player.
Yet Ebukam passed through the tenuous period just before free agency and seems poised to make the 53-man roster despite offseason pickups of pass-rushers like Kemoko Turay and Drake Jackson.
True, Ebukam came on strong late last year and into the postseason, so he has that in his favor. And while Jackson, the rookie, acclimates towards being an every-down player, the early projection seems to point to Ebukam being a starting defensive end to kick off the 2022 season.
However, if Jackson matures quickly and/or San Francisco feels as if defensive ends like Turay or Charles Omenihu offer more at a more affordable cost, a pre-Week 1 release of Ebukam could still generate a hefty $6.5 million in cap savings.
Likely? Perhaps not at this point, but it’s certainly possible.