49ers roster: 5 players who won’t be back with San Francisco in 2023

Jordan Willis #94 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Jordan Willis #94 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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The 49ers do face some tough decisions with regard to their roster in 2023, but it’s safe to say these five are making it an easy choice not to return next season.

The San Francisco 49ers are again going to face some awfully tough choices with regard to shaping up their roster for the 2023 season, and the immediate nature of the NFL almost dictates that general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan don’t worry about the choices they’ll have to make in the upcoming season right now.

But it doesn’t mean Lynch and Shanahan are avoiding the evaluation process.

There have already been a number of Niners standouts over the first third of the 2022 season, including some players who weren’t exactly expected to be notable contributors. Some, who are poised to hit NFL free agency this offseason, might be too difficult to retain.

Others, however, have seemingly disappeared from San Francisco’s immediate plans. Essentially, these five players are already playing themselves off the 49ers roster heading into next season.

No. 5: 49ers defensive end Jordan Willis

In case you were wondering, EDGE Jordan Willis hasn’t taken the field for the Niners in the regular season yet.

It’s not his fault, Willis has actually been relegated to injured reserve where he’s been since Week 2 after not playing the opening week of the year.

Willis had carved out something of a niche role for San Francisco’s defense as a situational pass-rusher, and he made a notable contribution on special teams last January with that memorable blocked punt against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Since then, though, the 49ers have gotten by with some other notable defensive linemen such as Charles Omenihu, Hassan Ridgeway and Kevin Givens, all of whom appear to be more valuable to the Niners’ D-line rotation right now.

Granted, San Francisco has appreciated Willis’ role before, and he could still feasibly return as a late-season reinforcement if needed.

However, it looks as if the 49ers will probably prefer to move on sooner than later.