The first round of roster cuts are upon us today, with teams having to cut down to 75 players by 1:00pm PT. The 49ers currently have 89 players on their roster, including two on the injured lists. This means we'll see 14 players given their walking papers by the end of the day. The 49ers have a deep roster, but there are several players that are fairly likely to be waived by the end of the day.
As we get ready for the eventual announcement of cuts, I thought I'd put together an updated bubble watch looking at locks, strong bubble, weak bubble and long-shots. This should help sort through some of the players that will be gone by 1pm.
The last full bubble watch I posted was a week before training camp got started. Things haven't changed too drastically since then, but I did bump several players up into lock, and a few down to weak bubble. For example, I have moved Brandon Jacobs and Perrish Cox into lock status. I suppose there is always an argument for strong bubble, but I can't really see how either doesn't make the 49ers roster.
At quarterback, I moved Josh Johnson into weak bubble with Scott Tolzien. One of them will almost assuredly make the roster, but I really have no idea who it will be, so neither really strikes me as strong at this point. The same holds true for Eric Bakhtiari in light of his injury yesterday. I would have been more inclined to list him as strong bubble if he had stayed healthy, but even that remains up in the area. The 49ers have been getting Demarcus Dobbs some work at nickel defensive end, which could very well cost Bakhtiari his roster position.
I also bumped Rock Cartwright down from strong bubble to weak bubble. I still think he makes the squad over Anthony Dixon, but I'm a little less confident. Yesterday was only one game, but Dixon certainly stepped up his game knowing his job is on the line.
I have 21 players in the long-shot category, with two players on the injury list they could move over to the PUP list. Most never had a shot at making the roster, but some are practice squad candidates, which could buy them one more game, against the Chargers.
QB (2): Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick
RB (4): Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Brandon Jacobs
FB (1): Bruce Miller
WR (4): Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, A.J. Jenkins
TE (2): Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker
OT (2): Joe Staley, Anthony Davis
OG (3): Mike Iupati, Alex Boone, Daniel Kilgore
C (1): Jonathan Goodwin
DE (3): Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, Demarcus Dobbs
NT (2): Isaac Sopoaga, Ricky Jean-Francois
OLB (3): Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith, Parys Haralson
ILB (3): Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Larry Grant
CB (4): Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver, Perrish Cox
FS (1): Dashon Goldson
SS (2): Donte Whitner, C.J. Spillman
QB (2): Scott Tolzien, Josh Johnson
WR (3): Chris Owusu, Nathan Palmer, Brian Tyms
RB (2): Anthony Dixon, Rock Cartwright
TE (1): Konrad Reuland
C (2): Jason Slowey, Chase Beeler
LB (4): Eric Bakhtiari, Kourtnei Brown, Ikaika Alama-Francis, Cam Johnson
S (3): Michael Thomas, Cory Nelms, Darcel McBath
FB (1): Cameron Bell
WR (3): Joe Hastings, Kyle Nelson, Brett Swain
TE (2): Garrett Celek, Joe Sawyer
OT (2): Derek Hall, Kenny Wiggins
OG (2): Al Netter, David Gonzales
DL (3): Tony Jerod-Eddie, Patrick Butrym, Matthew Masifilo
LB (2): Michael Wilhoite, Joe Holland
CB (3): Ben Hannula, Anthony Mosley, Deante Purvis
K (1): Giorgio Tavecchio