Tuesday afternoon, the San Francisco 49ers waive/injured defensive tackles Lawrence Okoye and Lamar Divens, as they cut down to the 75-man roster limit. After several releases on Monday, Tuesday was all about injury designations.
A day later, both Okoye and Divens cleared waivers, which is not a big surprise. When a player is waive/injured, they are placed on the league's waiver wire, which means any team can place a claim on the player. If a team claims the player, that player must either remain on that new team's 53-man roster, or be waived again.
An example of a team making such a claim would be when the Patriots claimed Jake Ballard after the Giants waive/injured him. The Patriots had to keep him on their roster, but given Aaron Hernandez's situation and Rob Gronkowski's injury status, it is looking like a fortuitous move.
All that being said, 24 hours after the 49ers waive/injured Okoye and Divens, they cleared waivers. Divens is running out of opportunities in the NFL, and Okoye's NFL experience is comprised of this offseason with the 49ers. He injured his knee against the Vikings, and even if he had not, I doubt a team would have placed a claim on him if he was released with final cuts. He's the ultimate developmental project right now.
The 49ers now have two options. The players revert to the team's injured reserve list, where their salaries impact the salary cap. A team has the option of working out an injury settlement with the player, which would basically cut them loose. The 49ers agreed to an injury settlement with Darcel McBath, so he is now a free agent.
The 49ers could decide to agree to an injury settlement with Okoye. The reason they would do that is because if he is on injured reserve all season, he cannot join the practice squad and get in team drill work. If they agree to a settlement, he could sign with the 49ers practice squad, and potentially get in actual practice work as the season wears.
- 49ers-Vikings analysis by Tre9er
- LaMichael James, Vernon Davis and Chucky
- 49ers salary cap update
- 49ers 53-man roster projection
- NN podcast, Episode 7