The San Francisco 49ers cut down their roster to 53 players on Saturday, waiving 21 players and placing Demarcus Dobbs on the reserve/suspended list for Week 1. The 49ers could make some changes to their 53-man roster, but in the meantime, the next step will include dealing with waivers and signing eight players to the practice squad.
All the players with under four years of accrued service time that were cut yesterday were immediately placed on the waiver wire. All 32 teams are allowed to place claims on these various players, with the claiming order set in the 2013 first round NFL draft order. The order will eventually switch to reverse order of 2013 record, but for the first six weeks I believe, it is draft order.
The 49ers could decide to make a claim, although given the depth of their current roster, that would surprise me a little bit. However, they have until 9 a.m. PT to place any waiver claims. Once the waiver wire runs at 9, teams can begin signing free agents to their practice squad (full rules here). The team can sign up to eight players to the practice squad, but is not required to have all eight slots filled at any given point.
Based on the players that were cut yesterday, here are those eligible for the practice squad:
I have to think some of these players will be claimed off waivers. If they are claimed off waivers, the player has to go to that team. If they are not claimed off waivers and thus become a free agent, they are free to sign with anybody.
From this group of players, I would not be surprised if Michael Thomas was claimed. He showed solid skills in coverage as the team's third-string slot corner. I was a bit surprised he did not make the team. Jewel Hampton looked good running the ball, but the question mark in camp was his pass protection, and we really did not see him get many opportunities in the preseason. I would not be surprised if he got through waivers.
If I had to make a practice squad prediction from this group based on how I think waivers might go, I'd go with:
RB Jewel Hampton
TE MarQueis Gray
OT Carter Bykowski
OG Wayne Tribue
LB Travis Johnson
CB Darryl Morris
CB Marcus Cooper
S Trenton Robinson