49ers announce final cuts and 53-man roster

This is a 2018 photo of Jeremiah Attaochu of the San Francisco 49ers NFL football team. This image reflects the San Francisco 49ers active roster as of Wednesday, May 2, 2018 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

The 49ers just announced their final cuts. Here they are:

  1. DL Jeremiah Attaochu
  2. WR Aaron Burbridge
  3. G Jonathan Cooper
  4. WR Steven Dunbar Jr.
  5. TE Ross Dwelley
  6. DB Antone Exum Jr.
  7. TE Cole Hikutini
  8. FB Malcolm Johnson
  9. OL Andrew Lauderdale
  10. DB Dexter McCoil
  11. CB Tarvarus McFadden
  12. RB Jeremy McNichols
  13. CB Emmanuel Moseley
  14. QB Nick Mullens
  15. DB Tyvis Powell
  16. DL Niles Scott
  17. OL Coleman Shelton
  18. LB Pita Taumoepenu
  19. LB Korey Toomer
  20. OL Najee Toran
  21. RB Jeff Wilson Jr.

And here is the 49ers 53-man roster

  1. WR Marquise Goodwin
  2. WR Pierre Garcon
  3. WR Trent Taylor
  4. WR Richie James
  5. WR Dante Pettis
  6. WR Kendrick Bourne
  7. TE George Kittle
  8. TE Garrett Celek
  9. TE Cole Wick
  10. RB Jerick McKinnon (going on IR with a torn ACL.)
  11. RB Matt Breida
  12. RB Alfred Morris
  13. RB Raheem Mostert
  14. FB Kyle Juszczyk
  15. QB Jimmy Garoppolo
  16. QB C.J. Beathard
  17. OL Joe Staley
  18. OL Laken Tomlinson
  19. OL Weston Richburg
  20. OL Mike Person
  21. OL Mike McGlinchey
  22. OL Garry Gilliam
  23. OL Shon Coleman
  24. OL Joshua Garnett
  25. OL Erik Magnuson
  26. DL DeForest Buckner
  27. DL Solomon Thomas
  28. DL Arik Armstead
  29. DL Earl Mitchell
  30. DL Cassius Marsh
  31. DL Dekoda Watson
  32. DL D.J. Jones
  33. DL Sheldon Day
  34. DL Ronald Blair
  35. DL Jullian Taylor
  36. LB Malcolm Smith
  37. LB Fred Warner
  38. LB Mark Nzeocha
  39. LB Brock Coyle
  40. LB Elijah Lee
  41. DB Richard Sherman
  42. DB Ahkello Witherspoon
  43. DB K’Waun Williams
  44. DB Jimmi Ward
  45. DB Tarvarius Moore
  46. DB D.J. Reed
  47. DB Greg Mabin
  48. DB Adrian Colbert
  49. DB Jaquiski Tartt
  50. DB Marcell Harris
  51. K Robbie Gould
  52. P Bradley Pinion
  53. LS Kyle Nelson

LB Reuben Foster is serving a two-game suspension, and WR Victor Bolden Jr. is serving a four-game suspension.

This article has 165 Comments

  1. Thx Grant, been looking on 49ers.com for this, couldn’t find it.

    Found the updated 49er running back info:
    Evan Silva @evansilva 7m
    Ace beat reporter @MaioccoNBCS suggests Alfred Morris is now likely to open season as #49ers starting running back… https://t.co/hHiSZGRYU7

    1. To TomD

      I liked Jeremiah Attaochu’s aggressive style this preseason. And I thought Cooper looked quite acceptable in the last game. I think we could possibly see them later in the season. What say you?

    2. Niners way overpaid for a non–starting third-down receiving back in the fragile McKinnon. No other team bid for him at anywhere near that salary. Bad signing. Lynch will be second-guessed as he also failed to bring home any huge difference makers over the long offseason. He had the cap room but could not get the big difference-maker.

  2. After roster cuts, vested veterans immediately hit the market, while players with less than four accrued seasons will go through the waivers process on Sunday at 9 a.m. PT. Roster cuts are never really “final” roster cuts since a team might see someone worth claiming off waivers or signing as a free agent. Additionally, if the 49ers have players they want to move to injured reserve with the option of bringing them back this season, those moves will likely happen on Sunday. Finally, they will sign a 10-man practice squad starting Sunday at 10 a.m., as well as scouring the NFL waiver wire as other players are released over the weekend.

  3. Boy, there are some painful cuts. I fully expect several cut Niner players get picked up by another team.
    Wonder who makes the PS.

  4. September 1, 2018 at 2:06 pm
    Jennifer Lee Chan @jenniferleechan
    #49ers Jerick McKinnon made a cut on air and went down – non contact – he will have an MRI very soon. “We’re nervo… https://t.co/DhrVbTKAM5

    Rebelscum says:
    September 1, 2018 at 1:53 pm
    This really stinks! Those that thought they wasted too much money in him (McKinnon) were correct!

    TomD’s Take:
    Reply: 1. Remember Jed and Paraag got sued by the city of Santa Clara for 49er’s watering records after the Niner’s refused to pay for watering their own field and charging the city for it.

    2. Harbaugh pulling his team off Levi’s field during the stadiums initial practice before Silicon Valley’s Champagne sipping Execs, claiming the “chunks of turf coming up” were to dangerous for the players, so I cancelled the practice.”….Harb’s eventually lost his job for emanbarassing the billionaires.

  5. Wow Cooper, Attachu, and Pita T big surprises for me… not sure how I’m feeling about this Defense right now.

    On another note just bought tickets for 49ers Vs Chargers game at stub hub. The game is on his 8th B day, it will be his first one. He’s pumped.

    1. Don’t worry Leo, the D will be playing mad 😏

      Have a great time at the game. I’m going to be in LA when the Niners play the Rams … in Santa Clara. Darn missed that one.

  6. McKinnon likely out for the season. I’m going to puke!

    Talk about snake bitten. He was going to be featured HEAVILY in the 49ers 2018 playbook. This one hurts bad. I like Morris, and am grateful that he was available, but he’s an entirely different kind of RB and Breida is nowhere near the duel threat McKinnon was. This injury completely changes the dynamics of this offense, and certainly alters the 49ers game plan just 8 days ahead of the season opener in Minnesota.

    I hate to say it, but I expect this team to start slow this season, and like last season, dig themselves a hole they can’t climb out of. Hope I’m wrong, but I had high hopes for “the Jet” and felt like his abilities as a receiver would give Kyle the ability to outscheme a number of more talented teams this season.

    With questions at pass rush and in the defensive backfield, the Niners hopes this season, IMO, hinged on scoring a lot of points, and if McKinnon is truly lost for the season, that just got harder to do, especially early on in the season.

    If I were a betting man, I’d now put the over-under for the Niners at 7.5 wins, and that really, really bums me out!

      1. It will be interesting to watch the Vegas betting lines react.

        And how about all those fantasy football owners on the McKinnon bandwagon. OUCH!

        As it was, even before this injury, there was a major disconnect between the 49ers Super Bowl odds, and win-loss total. That would indicate to me that the 49ers were over-hyped nationwide to begin with this season. And now they’ve lost their most important free agent acquisition of the offseason, 8 days before they open their season.

        Could be worse. Imagine if they hadn’t got lucky that Morris was still available in late August.

        I’m predicting 8-8 IF they don’t continue to lose key players to injury. And that’s a big IF.

      2. Hate to see anyone get hurt. Bout he’ll derive some comfort from the 9-odd mill he’ll pad his bank account with.
        He wasn’t going to make that much of a difference IMO. Nothing that Breida can’t handle. Easily. And Morris is better anyway, as I’ve said before.
        In four years in the league, McKinnon basically showed nothing. No wiggle. But of course with the Niners he was going to transform into the next coming of Barry Sanders with OJB receiving skills. Lol.
        Funny how people who have something to prove, somehow never get a chance to prove it!
        I was looking forward to seeing what he could do. Wasn’t expecting much.

        Love the final roster with what they had to choose from. Kudos to Shanny for not holding on to guys just because they were paid or were his favorites. Cooper had “bust” written all over him. Love that they kept Blair; that guy is just a football player. Too bad Attiochu didn’t work out. Beathard still needs to prove he can do it, but there was no other choice. Surprised by the Powell cut, but glad that they hung on to Harris. Of course the coaches know better, but it’s good to see one’s thinking validated.

    1. Yeah, this is a big blow to the 49ers. He was the RB they were relying on to hurt teams in the passing game. They don’t have any other RB on the roster that is like him.

  7. Hikutini cut… Browns cut Devon Cajuste.. Wonder if Lynch will bring Stanford boy, Cajuste back here? Looked awfully good in Preseason..

  8. Re-post from previous article

    Season – Coach – General Manager – Starters Losing Snaps Due To Injuries

    2014 – Harbaugh – Baalke – Much higher than NFL average
    2015 – Tomsula – Baalke – Much higher than NFL average
    2016 – Kelly – Baalke – Much higher than NFL average
    2017 – Shanahan – Lynch – Much higher than NFL average
    2018 – Shanahan – Lynch – Higher than NFL average (so far)

    Before preseason I predicted 8 wins because of the injury curse and lack of depth. Sounding about right.

  9. While some are panicking over the loss of McKinnon, I don’t think its as big a loss as perceived. He was a good receiving back, but offered little in the running game. He didn’t average 4 yards when on a supremely talented team in Minnesota, so at this point he hasn’t proven to be more than a scat back than a dual purpose threat. So lets wait and see how Brieda and Morris work together if the news is bad.

    1. Oh, come on Shoup. There is a reason the 49ers overpaid for McKinnon. He was probably Kyle’s most valuable offensive chess piece.

      This absolutely BLOWS! And I promise you, Kyle’s a bit shaken up about this loss, and a big chunk of the playbook they’ve been working on just went up in smoke … poof, a smoldering pile of ashes, a week before opening day.

      I would jump on Minnesota now, before the betting line continues to move, but you’re probably safe giving up 17 points to the Niners now, so no hurry.

      1. It blows only from the standpoint that the 49ers invested a ton in him and we wont know for certain if he was worth it or not. However, lets not assume he was going to be top 5 running back just because the niners chose to pay him like one. Yes, they obviously believed in him when they signed him for that much money, but like in stocks investment doesn’t guarantee returns and they still have some pieces to work with.

        1. I agree with you Shoup.
          Remember they also have a catching FB. Their offense when Jimmy G started was one of the best in th nfl already without Him.
          It’s a blow, but I don’t know if they were really going to use him that much.
          I’m more hurt about the money and he will never be the same when he returns. He will lose some of the speed.

          Thank goodness for Morris.
          I don’t think it’s going to be as big as most are saying and it certainly won’t drop the projected record of 10-6 11-5 by me. 🤣

    2. Shoup, I agree. McKinnon and Breida were duplicates in size and speed, and Breida does have pass catching skills.
      Yes, there will be lots of hand wringing, but the NFL is a game of attrition. Next man up.
      Too bad they paid so much, but he still can return next season, and he could still earn his money.
      Too bad he got hurt on the last play of practice, but that’s life.
      I hope they bring back Jeremy McNichols. If they do, I hope he makes the most of his opportunity.

  10. Nate Orchard?

    I predicted Nate Orchard would be lucky to make an NFL career for himself, as a core special teams player, prior to the draft.

  11. Sorry RAW, I’m not going to get excited for a fringe special teamer. The 49ers supposedly lost out in the Khalil Mack sweepstakes, and then lost their top free agent acquisition, and I’m supposed to be excited for a player without a defined NFL position?

    1. I prefer Fowler but Orhard seems explosive from what I have seen in the pre season. Mack never was going to happen to SF. The Raiders don’t trade with SF. Especially for that kind of talent.

      1. Sorry RAW, didn’t mean to jump on you. I’m just absolutely broken to lose McKinnon at this stage. The 49ers are going to get BLOWN OUT in Minnesota, which means the NINERS are going to take an absolute bloodbath to start their new season. OH JOY!

        1. The 49ers will not be blown out by anyone this year…and you can take that to the bank. Kyle’s scheme and Jimmy G’s ability to score a league leading 60% of their drives will eliminate blow outs. This doesn’t gaurantee wins, but I’m highly skeptical they will be blown out.

    1. When you add the salary capital to the draft capital expended for Mack, it’s even more insane. Personally, I’m glad the niners stuck to their limit on what they would pay for Mack.

    2. Yes it is. Most of the pundits are crucifying Gruden and I don’t agree with trading him now, but no way I can blame him for not wanting to give out a contract like that. Best scenario imo would have been making Mack play out his contract this year and then trade him in the offseason, but no guarantee they would get the same kind of offer either. The Bears are taking a massive risk here.

      1. Agree, Rocket. The only position I see spending that kind of “capital” on is QB. Still, it does seem like edge rusher is now the 2nd most important position on NFL football teams as validated by the amount of capital teams are willing to pay.

      2. Signing McKinnon to a huge contract was a worse risk…..

        I will take the $23.5 mil per for Mack instead of spending all that money on a RB everyone knew was not durable…..pay $2mil for a G and $mil for a OLB who will not be on the 53 …..

        1. I don’t think that the McKinnon injury makes his contract worse than a Mack contract would have been. It does, however, point out the risks of giving any one player a contract that has a huge effect on the salary cap. You sort of have to take that risk with a QB but if that kind of injury would happen to Mack with his cap cost -his guaranteed contract-plus the draft picks he cost it would certainly set a team back years. McKinnon, while a big contract, does not impact the Niners salary cap to the degree Macks would. Plus he did not cost them any draft picks. Draft picks- having a number of starting players on their rookie contracts- are an important part of keeping a teams cap managable.

            1. I am not saying McKinnon was not a risk, only that it wasn’t at the level that a Mack contract would have been. The thing about Shanahan Lynch is that they always attempt to have a second option available. In this case it is Breida. While he might not be what they expected from McKinnon, he is similar enough that he can play the same role. They always attempt to make sure they have a guy who can step in when their is an injury. This is something that got Baalke in trouble as evidenced by what happened to the WR corps when Crabs was injured at the start of 2013 and the O-line in 2015.

              Injuries happen all the time. The only real position that the Niner would take a massive hit on due to an injured starter is at QB. That is a position that they really need to shore up next season. I don’t think Beathard is the answer even as a back up.

      3. The Raiders won the trade. The Bears shouldn’t have made it. They’re still no better than third best in their division.

        1. I agree, I just think they should have waited to see how long he was willing to hold out. They probably could have had one more year with him and then traded him in the offseason, but obviously you don’t know if the offers would have been as good.

        2. Grant you’re nuts JR!
          Their defense was stout last season and with Mack they will rise to top 3 in the nfl. Take that to the bank. They will knock around minn and GB this season.
          You watch.

      4. ” but no way I can blame him for not wanting to give out a contract like that. ”
        Then you must not want an elite pass rusher on the team because that’s what they are going to cost now going forward.

        1. No defensive player is worth QB money imo. As great as Mack is he didn’t help the defense perform any higher than bottom of the league and didn’t help them win a lot of games either. It just means teams will have to pour more resources into the position and do it by committee.

          1. It’ll be short time before the QB market eclipses these DE numbers anyway. Teams do the position by committee already because of the lack of elite players which is exactly why Mack just got the kind of contract he did. I’m not condoning that type of contract but it’s what that type of player is going to cost now.

            1. Yes I agree and that’s why they traded him. No defensive player is worth that. You win consistently if you have a QB. Any defensive player can be taken out of a game by scheme, so giving them QB money doesn’t make a lot of sense.

              1. Rocket… as soon as Suh signed a couple
                Of years ago and now Donald DL’s are worth that now.
                So paying for him and his caliber is actually going to be cheaper for CHI in the long run.
                The bar is set.

              2. Suh is a great example actually. He got the monster contract and didn’t have nearly enough impact for the money and didn’t help them win a lot of games. That’s the issue I have with giving this kind of money to anyone but a QB. No other position can impact the game enough to warrant this kind of money. Salaries will increase year to year but the Donald and Mack deals were huge increases in both base and guaranteed money over Von Miller and obliterated the FT estimations for 2019.

            2. interesting how NFL teams going forward will need to choose whether they “break-the-bank” for a “franchise” QB or for the defensive antidote to an opposing team’s QB…

            3. I guess I look at this differently than most. I don’t think the bears lost the trade because of the money, but rather because they gave up 2 firsts a third and a sixth, and then had to pay him that kind of money. That might be ok if you are getting the player at a discount, but to give up that many picks and have to pay that much money on top is bit nuts to me.

        2. C4C

          Having an elite pass rusher is a myth…Remember that Aldon Smith was tearing up the league with ‘Cowboy’ sending him tackles…so the league catches on and decoys him, or just sends in plays that go away from him….Duh

          Decoying has been a part of football as long as there has been football…Len Rohde once told me that they would do the same thing to “Big Daddy” Lipscomb…let him make a play on the outside, then hit them through the hole he’d invariably leave open on the following play….

          You DON’T give two (2) first round picks for a pass rusher

  12. In fact, I’m in such a bad mood now, I think it’s best if I just log off for a while.

    Catch you all later, GO NINERS!

  13. Guess relying on Pita and Attachou as part of the pass rush we needed to make up was a fool’s errand on the part of the Niners…

    1. Relying on them was nor more a risk than relying on any rookie they drafted in a weak draft would have been. The thing is they were not expecting to contend this year anyway. Risking a pick on a mediocre draft pick would have been just as big of a gamble and it would have cost them a quality player as well. Deferring an edger rusher pick to the following years draft when the quality and quantity of players at that position makes it more likely to get a long term impact player rather than the wish the wish and a prayer that any player left to them would have been.

      That is exactly the reason they stated for not drafting an edge rusher. They stated that the thought that the edge rushers available were not better than the ones they already had on their rosters. Picking players and hoping the will stick is precisely the tactics Baalke used through out time here. He constantly used gambles and draft numbers to in an attempt to fill out the Niners positions of need. We saw how successful that sort of tactic was.

  14. There will be a few more changes to the roster I would guess. As it stands we are extremely week at Edge and light at LB which they may try to get away with until they get Foster back. The McKinnon loss is huge in the passing game. They were going to feature him heavily this season as a receiver out of the backfield. Not sure there is anyone on the roster that can take over that role. I’m surprised they kept Gilliam. I thought he was done when they acquired Coleman. They are going to be busy over the next 48 hours.

      1. Cubus,

        They should be bringing in anybody with history of being able to rush the passer. I’d be calling Elvis to see if he’ll come out of retirement too.

    1. In hindsight, passing on an Edge Rusher was very foolish, it will now cost more. McKinnon’s contract was also too much, but it is water under the bridge. I think Morris will be heavily featured and Juice will pick up the McKinnon role in the passing game.

  15. Schefter – “Khalil Mack and the Bears just reached agreeement on a record-setting 6-year, $141 million extension ($23.5M per year avg) that includes $90M guaranteed and $60M at signing, source tells ESPN.
    Mack is the new highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.”

    Cost to Bears…
    – 2019 First Round Pick
    – 2020 First Round Pick
    – $90 to $141 Million

    If the Bears have a great two seasons, the late first rounders might be worth it. It’s quite a gamble because the 2019 draft is supposed to have good pass rushers in the top 10.

    1. A checker at one of our grocery stores is an ardent RayDuhs Fan. I saw him this morning and he held up his hand 🤚 and said “I don’t want to talk about it!”

    2. The interesting thing is they already had a pretty good defense. It’s the offense that is full of question marks. Unless they get a huge year out of Trubisky, chances are they will be giving the Raiders a top 15 pick if not top ten.

  16. Not sure if its that big of a deal about McKinnon. If Morris can continue running like he did against the Colts then not much is going to be lost. Play action will still be effective plus the aerial attack is going to be devastating with Goodwin, Garcon, Kittle, Taylor Pettis, James and Bourne picking up the slack. One of my questions going into this year was there going to be enough ball to go around…..so…..

    1. It’s a major blow to Shanahan’s plans. Much of the offense was going to revolve around McKinnon’s unique run+catch skills.

      They spent $30 million on him so Shanahan could use his entire play book. Plays many Practice reps invested by the whole offense geared towards mismatches between McKinnon and linebackers will now be used far less.

      The Niners planned on shocking the world with McKinnon’s combined run+catch yards. Instead they shocked their wallets.

      1. Branch – 49ers RB Jerick McKinnon does have a torn ACL and his season is over, a league source confirms.

        This… Absolutely… Blows!

        1. After every Iron Maiden concert over the course of 35+ years of attending; they’ve played, Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life everytime. In this instance, we can be glad it happened now so he has a full year to rehab and be ready to attack next year. Another positive is this is McKinnon’s first serious injury of his entire career….

      2. Could be Brodie we will have to see how it all shakes out. Hopefully they already had a plan for this problem. They certainly could not expect McKinnon to go through an entire year with the anticipated heavy workload and not having an injury that would sideline him for x amount of games. We shall see.

        1. I don’t think the 49ers planned on missed games… I think they planned on pitch counts on runs, with some games having a lighter load.. But they had big hopes on combined runs+catches. Exploiting mismatches with cover linebackers. That’s what the $30 million was for.

          The Niners has fast backs that can catch, but none are $30 million receiving threats.

          1. I fully understand how they were going to use McKinnon and I was looking forward to his arsenal. I just don’t see this as a devastating blow. Maybe I am wrong we shall see shortly.

            1. It does blow, but not as much as some people might think. If this was a limited window year they expected to make a title run, then it really would be a killer. They were not expecting to contend this year and are building the team to be able to consistently contend and not just during limited windows. They still have backs, that while not as dynamic as Mckinnon in this system, will be able to set in with not a huge drop off. Breida was considered by many as a duplicate of McKinnon. Well that is why you have duplicates when they are available.

    2. Agree with you on McKinnon. Also think the guys they cut aren’t going to be missed except maybe Burbridge. Still no pass rush unless Buckner excels at Leo. Might happen. Outside corner still a question mark. But offense improved, so we’ll score more easily. Still a work in progress.

  17. I hope Lynch is scouring the waiver wire. There are many recognizable names, and lots of talent.
    However, they may decide to re-sign some of the players they cut. Jeremy McNichols may be a good candidate with the injury to McKinnon. If they put Magnuson and Harris on the IR, they could bring back Burbridge and Pita.

  18. Let’s get ready to rumble.

    1. Mckinnon potential injury is not ideal , but also not devastating. Niners performed pretty well down the stretch with Breida. Breida and Morris are more than adequate .

    2. I never liked the mckinnon signing in the first place. It was way too much money .

    3. This niners regime has a dubious habit of overpaying for players who give them comfort – Garcon, Mckinnon , Ward , Juszczyk …

    4. In ward’s case they picked up 5th year making him our highest paid and worst defensive player. i’ll never understand this.

    5. Trent Taylor and Ritchie James will be busy in the short yardage passing attack

    6. Anyway , I am sticking with 9-10 win prediction and shot at Wild Card.

    1. It actually makes COMPLETE sense why they over paid for those comfort guys. They had TONS of cap space and filling it with guys who can not only teach the system but execute it so the young guys they draft can buy in to the scheme. You do that when you have the cap space because you can’t do it later. It was absolutely brilliant. Injuries happen to everyone so that is what it is

  19. 2 non contact injuries before the season even starts , and barely playing at all in training camp . Time to find a new line of work . Oh wait 18 mill guaranteed… no need

  20. The new Big Numbers in signings this year bring out hand-wringing from fans and media and GMs and owners as being wildly excessive, while no one seems to bat an eye at the obscene numbers in league and team revenues, team valuation growth, and owner profits.
    A.Rogers gets a megadeal as a QB (probably the single best QB) and everyone chokes that down, But with new income levels, all the player position groups should be getting bigger numbers as the rising tide should lift them. Mack & Donald are the best at what they do, they’re game changers, and they can expect shorter careers than QBs. This is precisely when they should cash in.
    The next QB deal won’t necessarily top Rogers’ deal, because he’s the best, whoever else is not.
    The best DT deal shouldn’t surpass Donald, cuz he’s the best.
    The best Edge Rusher deal shouldn’t surpass Mack unless someone (who dat?) is better.
    The size of the NFL’s Pie got bigger. The players’ slices should get bigger too.
    Besides, I tune in for Buckner and Jimmy G., not cuz of Jed.

    1. BT,

      Good point but the question I have is why are theying paying so much over market value for them? They could have been the top paid defensive players at $20 mill. The deals they signed now dwarf the next highest at their positions. We can sit here and say they deserve it based on how good they are, but it’s a very risky business move by the teams. In a league with a hard cap you risk your long term success with overpays like this.

      1. I’m saying our notions of market value may be outdated, everybody needs to adjust. Some will make big deals while others balk.
        I’m not sorry that Lynch & Co. had a budget, but not for the money, for the draft capital.

          1. Paying a single player that big of a chunk of your salary cap is always a risk. The McKinnon injury is an example of that. That is especially true if the contract is guaranteed. The Niners were also willing to take a risk with Mack but not as much of a one as the Raiders wanted for him. The salary cap is one thing, but adding the hit to the cap along with eliminating two quality players on a rookie contract would be a killer. Especially if an injury would hit Mack. It would set back their rebuild and long term plans for years. Maintaining an influx of quality draft picks who can fill important positions at rookie salaries is very important for at teams long term contention. Other wise you end up being stuck with contending only during smaller windows. The risk level of McKinnon was not that great to the team. Macks, however, was one that the team just could not take. You are cap constrained by ow many 20 mil a year risks your team can make. You always take a risk with a franchise QB and the Niners have used that one up already. They cans still afford to resign Buckner and some of the other quality players when their contracts come up. But to add a contract that will also cost important players on long term rookie contracts is a huge risk that just is not worth it.

    2. Yeah, its a good point BT. The deals for Donald and Mack look ridiculously big now, but really they are just re-setting the market (and not by that much – top pass rushers were already nearing $20M a season). This is what deals for big time pass rushers are going to be. Best get used to it, and if a team doesn’t want to pay that much they had best come to terms with not having top end pass rushers.

      1. Scooter:

        The salary cap hit is one thing and I can see the argument that the 2nd most important position on an NFL team deserves big money. However, it’s the combination of salary capital and draft capital that in my opinion makes this deal insane.

        1. That’s because you aren’t divorcing the two aspects. They shouldn’t be considered as part of the same deal.

          The two first rounders is fair compensation to guarantee acquiring a top end difference maker, rather than drafting players and hoping to find one. Its the same as the Bears spending their next two 1st rounders trying to find one, and assuming they bat at .500 on their drafting for elite talent.

          That is separate to the financial cost. And the financial cost, as pointed out by BT, is not really that outrageous. This is the same as what the Bears would needed to have paid him to keep him off the market if they already had him on the roster.

          1. “That’s because you aren’t divorcing the two aspects. They shouldn’t be considered as part of the same deal.’

            I disagree. The total cost is what I think is important and that total cost includes the salary capital cost and the draft capital cost. The trade that the team made for Jimmy G was a good one because even though he was the highest payed NFL player, for a short while, the total cost was reasonable since the draft capital cost was only a 2nd. The FO can move forward with it’s most important picks to continue to improve the team. Had Belichick wanted two 1sts, I feel confident the 49ers would have passed, preferring instead to take a chance (and a good one) that Cousins would sign.

            1. To me that is a very myopic way of looking at it. The trade compensation is purely to acquire the rights to the player. Like I said, drafting two 1st round picks to find one elite talent is a pretty good ratio.

              The financial compensation is what it is. I think the issue you have with the draft picks and financial compensation is that you are comparing it to acquiring a player through FA. But players as good as Mack almost never hit FA.

              1. Actually I would say your way of analyzing the trade is myopic and doesn’t look at the entirety of the transaction.

                Just because the NFL is a “niche industry” is no reason to throw out tried and true principles that every successful enterprise uses to analyze the economics of investment options. Trading for Mack is an investment option – an investment in a great player. In other industries the usual primary items analyzed are capital (or acquisition) cost and operating costs. You effectively want to ignore the acquisition cost. Since draft capital like money capital is finite it has to be considered.

              2. Not at all what I am doing. Players like Mack aren’t available for anything other than draft picks. To find an equivalent player you would have to spend draft picks trying to find one, and the hit rate on finding elite talent through the draft is lower than 50%. And players like Mack don’t play for peanuts – you have to pay them top dollar.

                Think of it this way – if a proven great QB for some reason came available for trade in their prime, but it would cost a bucket load of draft picks + you would need to make them the highest paid player in the NFL, you would make the trade (assuming you needed a QB).

              3. When I said the two aspects should be divorced from each other I meant the deal shouldn’t simply be viewed as draft capital plus money to acquire the player. That isn’t how it works. They spent draft capital to acquire the player. And two first round picks (essentially what it boils down to) is a good rate for finding an elite talent.

                The financial aspect is simply what it costs for having and keeping a great player on your roster. It would be no different if he had already been on the roster.

              4. The basic difference in what we are saying is that you believe that two firsts is a fair acquisition cost and that is fine – nevertheless, the acquisition cost has to be considered. In your example of the proven great QB in his prime, one still wouldn’t just throw every pick available to acquire that player. A great QB with scrubs around him will not get to the Superbowl and likely won’t even finish the season without being injured. Balance is important.

                The principles apply to every field and industry. What separates the men from the boys is knowing the industry-specific parameters for the “equation”. Admittedly, sports is probably one of the most difficult industries to define those parameters. And I’m not talking about actually having an equation, but more a “feel” for how to balance all of the parameters especially in the salary cap era. New England is an example of a very efficient NFL enterprise. How often do they “overpay” for players?

              5. Yes, the acquisition cost must be considered- that wasn’t what I meant. And yes, I think spending two 1sts to find one elite player is quite reasonable, whether that be through drafting or trading for players.

                WRT the Patriots, its fine to say they don’t make these kinds of trades, but it should also be considered that (a) they don’t have the salary cap space for it, (b) they have traded first round picks to acquire good (not elite) players in the past, and (c) quite frankly there aren’t many teams that are as good at getting the most out of less talented players. Its really quite remarkable how many good players they have let go and yet not miss a beat.

              6. The bottom line has to consider the salary cap. Maintaining a quality roster requires a constant influx of players playing under their actual value. That is why Seattle was able to resign the talent that made them contenders. They were able to use the extra cap money that was saved by Wilson still being on a 3rd round rookie salary. Resources directed in one area come from another.

                The most important factor in being able to maintain a contending teams for any length of time ( other than short contending windows ) is an influx on talent playing on their rookie salaries. You can sign valuable vets and become a contender in a short window, but it comes at future expense. This team is building a team based on a sustainable future, not one of contending for a few years. A major salary hit like Macks would not only limit the available cash to sign the talented rookies once their contracts expire, but it would also reduce the teams influx of top talent playing on rookie salaries. It is a double hit.

                In respect to Jimmy G and the QB choices the Niners had- They also had the option of getting a rookie who they could have for multiple years at a reduced rookie salary. It would have cost them a # 1 pick but they would have saved Jimmy’s salary cap hit. The thing that made the choice easier is that Jimmy only cost them a # 2 which left them with their draft picks options relatively still intact.

                The thing about Shanahan and Lynch they will never gamble on one roll of the dice. They always like to keep multiple options open. The use the same principles running their roster as they do running their offense. Acquiring Mack would have constituted them betting the teams future on one roll of the dice. If he got injured their entire plan for the teams rebuild would go down with him. They can succeed with out him so the risk involved was not necessary .

              7. I agree willtalk. I am not upset the 49ers didn’t get Mack. I just don’t think it’s accurate to say the trade was insane. I think both the trade compensation and salary compensation are fine for an elite player at a premium position.

  21. The 49ers offense will work well without McMinnon. Near the top of the league in yardage. Some backs might rack up nice yardage. But the offense won’t work nearly as well without McKinnon.

    The 49ers shelled bucks for the specific purpose of creating mismatch nightmares for defensive coordinators.
    Play base, McKinnon burns the linebacker for a big reception. Play nickle on first down, the 49ers run at you.

    Now thats gone. A horrible day for Shanahan.

    How important was McKinnon tothe 49ers offense? About $30 million.

    1. I remember being totally bummed Paul Hofer was out for the season. The 49ers went on to win their first Super Bowl.

      The offense will post impressive numbers this season… but dang, losing McKinnon sucks. Shanahan’s playbook shrunk today. DCs will sleep a little better tonight.

      1. Yes I remember Hofer as well. He was one of the reasons I became a 49er fan. It was his Cinderella story, starting with his performance in the last pre season game that got him a roster spot. He was going to be cut as I remember.

    1. When Irish Eyes are Smiling sure it’s like a morn in spring
      In the lilt of Irish laughter you can hear the angels sing
      when Irish hearts are happy all the world seems bright and gay
      but when Irish eyes are smiling sure they’ll steal your heart away!

  22. So some of you have e been killing the mckinnion signing all off season. Then when he gets hurt, you have the nerve to drop predictions on the win total. Even though Alfred Morris came in. A proven player in this system who has excelled, and has proven he could also be a matchup nightmare. Now I’m not saying 12 wins but I am not dropping my prediction. In my opinion the offense will still gel. Especially knowing we have a guy that’s handled his business in this offense

    1. Yes…..a few of our wonderful family have ripped the signing consistently–for the money involved and McKinnon’s perceived lack of ability. Just like a large, rowdy family.

      I’m not seeing a huge drop off. It’s next man up. Shanahan knows his craft. I’m still thinking 9 wins +/- one.

      1. The offense will run very well without McKinnon. He was just going to add that something extra that was supposed to elevate it to the next level. Breida will be an adequate replacement. Remember many said they were duplicates.

  23. Both Akrum Wadley and Allen Lazard were cut, once again showing we on this board know nothing about drafting players as both worth discussed at length by more than a few posters. Interesting players to look at:

    Jacksonville cut CB Quenton Meeks, and I know a lot of people on this board (including myself) thought he was worth a draft pick.
    Colts cut OLB/DE John Simon, who was a great 3-4 linebacker last year and looked good at DE this preseason when the Colts went to a 4-3.
    Raiders cut Mario Edwards Jr. and Obi Melifonwu.
    Others have mentioned Kony Ealy
    Jake Weineke for practice squad?
    Charles Sims is a good pass-catching running back

      1. In fact, more I think about, the more I think this should be a priority signing for the 49ers. He makes a lot of sense as a SAM that can also play DE in nickel and genuinely provide some pass rush.

        1. Scooter, thanks for steering me to Simon. What about a Leo? He’s the right height and weight, he’s fast, and his Combine 3-cone was a 7.1, so, I assume he bends. What do you think?

          1. I agree with Scooter about Simon, which is why I listed him as someone the Niners should look to add. Really more of a SAM who can slide down to DE in a nickel. But far from a polished pass rusher.

            1. Yeah, more of an effort rusher than anything else. But a decent all round player- sets the edge in the run game, can cover a bit, and can rush the passer a bit.

    1. They really need to shore the back up QB position. But this year they have to go with Beathard. It takes too long to learn Shanahans system to have someone step in right away. They need to get someone on the practice squad with potential . Did they cut Mullins?

      1. Will, JG came mid season, and led them to 5 straight wins.
        I just think that all of those QBs are more accurate than CJB. They could sit behind JG and learn the system. Kevin Hogan was at Stanford, so he is pretty sharp. Bet JL would like him.

      2. Willtalk

        The niners could fill in the QB slot without having to dial long distance….Jimmy G for sure as starter…with Mullins as backup…and Jack Hennighan as 3rd string… love Beathard for his guts and physical attitude, but he talent wise, isn’t ahead of the other three….Get a sun-dial to time his release, and he can’t score….Certainly not a #2….

  24. Random players the Niners should look at.
    Brian Schwenke OG, NE
    Keion Adams LB, Pitt
    Josh Keyes LB, Tex
    Terrell Watson RB SD
    Chaz Green OL, Cow
    Bo Scarborough RB, Cow
    Garrett Griffin TE, NO
    Tegray Scales LB, LA
    Ifeadi Odenigbo DE, Min

  25. This makes Kyle 0-2 on picking running backs. 1-3 of Alfred Morris works out.
    Williams and Mickinon both out.
    Niners are still doing pretty well on composing their roster however.

  26. Niners should talk with Miami, and make a trade for Frank Gore, using either players or a draft pick.
    Since McKinnon went down, Frank Gore would be an adequate replacement.

      1. Why not? McKinnon went down for the season, and they need a replacement.
        I kinda like 14,000 yard running backs, and Gore is one of the best blocking RBs I know, so he would be able to protect JG.
        I do not propose sending 2 first round picks for him. Maybe a 4th or 5th round pick. Maybe an expendable Niner player who fills a dire need for the Dolphins. Maybe they think Kenyan Drake or Senorise Perry can become the starter, so they may want to move on from Frank Gore.

    1. +$141 million salary.


      Buckner+Nick Bosa (or other top 2019 QB killer)+$141 million to spend retaining or acquiring free agents.

      2019 is supposed to be well stocked with good edge rushers in the top of the first round. If the Bears have 10+ wins the next two seasons the trade looks much better. It’s a gamble. Will be interesting to see how Fangio deploys his shiny new toys in R. Smith and Mack.

      Gruden was desperate. He didn’t have the money to re to retain Mack. The Bears threw him a life preserver.

    2. No, because McGlinchey is needed since they traded away Brown. If Solomon Thomas gets 8 sacks, no way. Now that they are going to play him in the best position to succeed, he may get that many, since they played him out of position, not all the time, and he got 3 sacks.
      Also, B2W is right. Mack will eat up a lot of the salary cap.

  27. Fun reading the dialogue on Mckinnon Loss. I ask the following Q:

    Is there an overestimation of the Mckinnon value here and especially in light of the consequential Morris addition?

    Mck was a single threat – all be it a very big single threat. He gave Shanahan that extra sharp tool really only on passing downs. As a runner from scrimmage his Minn. history was not so good and he showed no signs of improving in the Shan zone blocking offense during preseason. A pass catching phenom RB whom is not a from scrimage running threat and just marginal as a pass protector is really just a back field WR.

    As McK’s new counter part replacement, Morris is also a single threat but who has over the past years improved somewhat on his weaknesses at blocking and pass catching. He may be older but he is also wiser.

    One should not underestimate AlMo’s skill and comfort in running in the Shanahan zone blocking offense and in addtition the Cowboy’s version of zone blocking. If he runs even half as well as he did against the Indy seconds he will make life much easier for this so far average O line. Pass protection will improve for it. The ground dimension threat always softens up and puts extra confusion into defenses. Offensive scheming and planning on majority of downs will improve with that ground dimension. And it buys Jimmy G a little more time.

    It seems to me that Shanahan lost a passing down secret weapon but gained an all down ground dimension threat. I like the latter better.

      1. Devonta Freeman is actually a dual purpose threat though. He has proven he can run the ball while McKinnon hasn’t even averaged 4 yards a carry for the past 2 seasons. At this point he has only proven to be a good receiver, he has not proven he is a threat when running the ball.
        If I saw him in the lineup and I was an opposing DC, I would play a base nickle until he proves that I he can run the ball… I would not do that with Devonta.

    1. The offense will be good. It will have an impressive yardage total by season’s end. McKinnon or not. It’s going to be a fun season.

      So why did Shanahan shell out $30 million ($12 gtd at signing) for a back many say is fairly easy to replace? I don’t live in Shanahan’s head, but I’d guess…

      – 49ers have fast running backs that can catch, but McKinnon has overall receiving skills that put defensive coordinators in a bind. Play nickle in base, 49ers run at you. Play standard base, McKinnon burns the linebacker for big receptions.

      – Shanahan has a deep and fruitful love affair with his offensive system. He loves it so much he let a tackle good at pass pro go for peanuts because he couldn’t use all the runs in the playbook.

      McKinnon allows Shanahan to run his entire play book. A key part of his player acquisition goals this season. Many complained Richburg, McGlinchy and McKinnon were “over paid, over drafted” but Shanahan only cares if they can do what his pride and joy (his system) requires.

      All speculation of course. I’m just a fan. It could be some other $30 million dollar reason.

        1. Nah! Shanahan’s system is also effective with out taylor made backs like McKinnon, only less so. You have to give him the benefit of the doubt when he wanted the opportunity to stock his team with players geared to his system. Some of you guys just don’t understand his system and are locked into a traditional box. That is why you are using every opportunity available to discount him and his system. If football followed your perspectives the single wing would still be the offense of choice.

      1. “49ers have fast running backs that can catch, but McKinnon has overall receiving skills that put defensive coordinators in a bind. Play nickle in base, 49ers run at you”

        I’d play base nickle against him. In terms of running ability I would say he is the 3rd best runner on the team. Combine that with the 49ers Oline and I would make them prove they can run the ball consistently. Until he proves otherwise, I wouldn’t treat him as anything other than a scat back.

    2. I was not a huge fan of Mckinnon, and it had nothing to do with his salary. He was a smaller back, and I believed he would not stand up to the relentless pounding a featured back would endure. Carlos Hyde was 225 lbs, and he could take the hits, and keep going. McKinnon could be brought down with an arm tackle, but was quick enough to avoid the tackle.
      McKinnon was never the starter, so he was better suited to be the change of pace back, and third down back. KS liked his pass catching ability so they could exploit mismatches. Devonta Freeman is similar, but they both cannot block as well as Hyde, because he out weighed them by 20 lbs. Freeman whiffed in the SB, and it changed the game.
      Thankfully, Morris weighs 222 lbs, so he may be more durable, and should be able to block better. When the Niners line Morris deep in the I with Juice lead blocking, it is more of a power running game. Now, Breida can be that quick change of pace back, and they can do more of that OZ run game.
      Strategically, it is better to present both a run or pass threat.Years past, the defense would stack 8 in the box and dare the Niners to pass. With JG, he will be able to slice and dice them if they did that. The defense will have to respect the passing game, so that would make running game easier.
      Do not get me wrong, the loss of McKinnon is a big setback. He would have helped the Niners stretch the field, and he was cat quick. He could have helped exploit mismatches, and KS was planning on using him in many ways. Do not know if Morris is a great pass catcher, so maybe they should utilize Juice more in the passing attack.
      It is unfortunate that the Niners were one play from emerging from the preseason relatively unscathed, but alas, it was not meant to be. Oh well, KS will move on, and make adjustments.
      So, to answer your question, I did not think that McKinnon was indispensable, and Morris and Breida may do the job, but it all depends on who JL can find to replace him.

  28. re Mack: long time ago, Bill Walsh said: “The key to success in the NFL is a pass rush late in the game.” Still true today, whatever the cost.

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