The San Francisco 49ers made a couple roster transactions as they signed guard Garrett Chisolm and offensive tackle Kenny Wiggins to reserve/future contracts. These contracts get Chisolm and Wiggins into camp but nothing else is really guaranteed. The additions of Chisolm and Wiggins brings to ten the number of players signed to reserve/future contracts for 2012. The players include Chisolm, Wiggins, C Chase Beeler, T Derek Hall, FS Mark LeGree, DB Cory Nelms, WR Kyle Nelson, TE Konrad Reuland, LB Michael Wilhoite and WR John Matthews.
From a first glance, these look primarily like camp bodies. Simply put, camp bodies can get some chances to compete for roster spots, but for the most part they are at the bottom of the pecking order for camp snaps. It's a bit of a vicious cycle where if you don't get snaps, you can't really show too much, which means you can't move up the depth chart, which means you'll get cut eventually. It's not always fair, but such is life on an 80-man roster.
This does not mean every one of these guys is going to be cut by the time the 2012 regular season starts. The odds are long for these guys, but better than non-existent. I took a look back through old emails and figured out some past examples of these contracts. They have been called reserve/future contracts the last couple years, but were previously called simply future contracts. Head after the jump for the list.
Below is a rundown of the future contracts that have been signed since the end of the 2008 season, which is as far back as the information seems to go. 2011 means they were signed following the 2010 season for the upcoming 2011 season, 2010 means they were signed following the 2009 season for the upcoming 2010 season, and so forth.
The notable names on this list include OT Alex Boone, WR Dominique Zeigler, and C Brian De La Puente. Boone has worked his way into the primary swing tackle position for the 49ers and even netting himself a recent contract extension in the process. Zeigler is currently a free agent but if he hadn't torn his ACL last season, I think he would have made the 49ers roster this year. De La Puente spent a pair of training camps with the 49ers and after bouncing around has emerged as a member of the New Orleans Saints. He has earned some starting time I believe due to injuries, but he is lasting.
Given the long list of names, the odds are indeed slim for the ten reserve/future contract-holders, but they do have a chance. Based on general discussion, Cory Nelms appears to have the best chance to earn a 53-man roster spot in 2012. If Carlos Rogers departs, his chances increase. Do you see any of the ten guys listed at the top surprising the team in training camp?