Every year after the season finishes, the San Francisco 49ers will reset their player roster page, moving everybody under regular contract to the "active" roster. During the season, the roster page is divided up by players on the practice squad, injured reserve and any other roster designations. The reset page moves all the injured players to active, and then separates out players signed to reserve/future contracts. The page also includes upcoming free agents, since they remain under team control until the start of the new league year.
Last year I decided to take a look at the roster minus free agents and break down the pre-free agency depth chart. I did that again as a basic mental exercise. We know some of the free agents will return, and the team will be adding additional talent through free agency and the draft. However, it is interesting to look at the roster without any additions or re-signed players.
A lot of the positions are not much different, but when you remove guys like Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean Francois, you see just what the depth is like at the position. The 49ers will either re-sign one or both of Ice and RJF, find someone in free agency, or look through the draft for nose tackle help. However, for now, we see what things are like if none of that happens.
This also starts to give us an idea of some of the end of the roster position battles that will play out this summer. One of the fiercest battles will be for cornerback playing time behind Rogers, Brown and Culliver. Perrish Cox had the full offseason with the 49ers, but he had also sat out the previous season after being waived by the Broncos. With a full season under his belt, it will be interesting to see if he can force his way further into the mix at cornerback.
As I said last year, this kind of breakdown brings a reminder of a classic scene from Major League (not the best quality).
QB: Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith, Scott Tolzien
RB: Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Jewel Hampton
FB: Bruce Miller, Anthony Dixon
WR: Michael Crabtree, A.J. Jenkins, Chad Hall
WR: Mario Manningham, Kyle Williams, Ricardo Lockette
TE: Vernon Davis, Garrett Celek
LT: Joe Staley
LG: Mike Iupati, Joe Looney
C: Jonathan Goodwin, Daniel Kilgore
RG: Alex Boone, Wayne Tribue, Al Netter
RT: Anthony Davis, Kenny Wiggins
LDE: Ray McDonald, Demarcus Dobbs, Lamar Divens
NT: Will Tukuafu, Ian Williams
RDE: Justin Smith, Tony Jerod-Eddie
ILB: NaVorro Bowman, Mike Wilhoite
ILB: Patrick Willis, Nate Stupar
OLB: Ahmad Brooks, Parys Haralson
OLB: Aldon Smith, Cam Johnson, Darius Fleming
CB: Tarell Brown, Perrish Cox, Tramaine Brock
CB: Carlos Rogers, Chris Culliver
FS: Darcel McBath, Trenton Robinson, Michael Thomas
SS: Donte Whitner, C.J. Spillman