The 49ers made a couple of roster moves official today as they announced signings of LB Eric Bakhtiari and DB Ben Hannula. In order to make room on the 90-man roster, the 49ers announced the release of WR John Matthews and OT Kevin Murphy. I've posted the official press release after the jump.
The first roster cuts are not until August 28, but there will likely be more roster moves between now and then. Bakhtiari may have earned a roster spot thanks to Darius Fleming's hamstring injury this weekend. Fleming is not going anywhere, but the team could be looking for more bodies at the position in the short term.
The 49ers had twelve players trying out this past weekend and one player who did not land a contract was defensive tackle Andrew Iupati. He received a bit of buzz thanks in part to a strong endorsement from his brother Mike Iupati. This lack of a contract does not guarantee he is out luck for a deal, but it might take some injuries to get him another shot.
Eric Bakhtiari (6-3, 250) originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the San Diego Chargers in 2008. He has spent time on the practice squads of the Kansas City Chiefs (2010-11), Cleveland Browns (2010), Miami Dolphins (2010), 49ers (2010, 2008), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009), Tennessee Titans (2009) and the Chargers (2008). Bakhtiari was signed to the Titans active roster on 12/12/09 and played in three games, posting six special teams tackles, in 2009. He was released by the Titans at the end of training camp on 9/4/10.
Bakhtiari, a 27-year old native of San Mateo, CA, starred collegiately at San Diego, where he was a two-time Pioneer League Defensive Player of the Year (2006-07) and three-time first-team All-PFL (2005-07). Baktiari's head coach in 2006 was the 49ers Jim Harbaugh.
Ben Hannula (6-2, 205) originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants, in 2010. He was signed to the team's practice squad on 12/16/10, only to later be released following the season. He attended the Seattle Seahawks minicamp as a wide receiver, in 2009. Hannula also played with the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League (2010-11).
A 26-year old native of Tacoma, WA, Hannula's versatility at the University of San Diego earned him Second Team All-PFL honors as a defensive back (2007) and as a wide receiver (2006).
John Matthews (6-0, 200) was signed to a Reserve/Futures contract earlier this year on 1/30/12. Prior to his signing in January, Matthews was signed to the 49ers practice squad on 10/4/11 and later released on 11/15/11. He was then signed to the 49ers practice squad again on 11/29/11 and spent the remainder of the season with the unit.
Kevin Murphy (6-7, 295) was signed by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent on 5/4/12.