49ers roster 2024: Tay Martin might have to look elsewhere for a prominent role

Tay Martin likely isn't going to carve out a career with the Niners anytime soon.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Tay Martin (86)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Tay Martin (86) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The 49ers have an awfully deep wide receiver room entering 2024, which doesn't bode well for Tay Martin.

Wide receiver Tay Martin couldn't have been thrilled when the San Francisco 49ers used not one, but two picks on receivers during the 2024 NFL Draft, grabbing Ricky Pearsall in Round 1 and then Jacob Cowing in Round 4.

Martin then probably cringed a bit more when the Niners extended fellow wideout Jauan Jennings while also showing all signs of retaining star wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk despite a contentious extension standoff.

Granted, Martin also had to understand his chances of making any sort of serious impact with San Francisco were grim prior to the aforementioned circumstances.

They're even grimmer now.

What has Tay Martin done for the 49ers so far?

Martin joined the 49ers as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State in 2022. Despite some flashes of promise in training camp and the preseason that year, he ultimately was relegated to the practice squad in year one but managed to get called up for two regular-season games, even getting a single snap on offense.

But the 6-foot-3, 185-pound wideout would remain on the periphery, experiencing a similar outcome the following season: a demotion to the practice squad while being activated for one regular-season game with scant field time and no impact on the stat sheet.

Sure, Martin displayed a good route tree in college where he managed 1,046 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in 2021, and he regularly found holes in zone coverage prior to going pro. Yet his thin frame and questionable hands kept his draft stock low, and he's little more than a project than anything else.

The Niners don't have too much room for players of that ilk, at least not right now.

Tay Martin's best-case scenario for 2024

San Francisco appears to have its top five receivers set for the upcoming season: Aiyuk, Jennings, Pearsall, Cowing and Deebo Samuel, plus there's likely room for one more name, perhaps a veteran like Chris Conley or Trent Taylor.

As such, all signs point to Martin being another post-preseason roster cut. Barring serious injury attrition at the position, the 49ers aren't likely to rely on him for any services beyond just the practice squad, especially after adding two more drafted rookies to the fray.

However, Martin should have all motivation to excel in training camp, and putting together some impressive tape during the preseason could convince any number of the 31 other teams around the league that he's worth a waiver claim.

Especially if that team is thin at the position. Perhaps a squad like the New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers or Denver Broncos could come calling.

In that aspect, Martin's goal should be to impress one of those other teams for a spot on their active rosters instead of vying for yet another year on the Niners practice squad.

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