The San Francisco 49ers spent Saturday evening signing a handful of undrafted free agents that reportedly included Southern Illinois QB Kory Faulkner, USC DE/OLB Morgan Breslin, Miami (FL) TE Asante Cleveland, Catawba College S LJ McCray, Stanford LB Shayne Skov, New Mexico C Dillon Farrell, and Michigan State OT Fou Fonoti. The moves are not "official" quite yet, but should be in the coming days.
The 49ers, and every team in the NFL, is looking to find a diamond in the rough when they sign undrafted free agents. The 49ers have used this period to sign guys like Tramaine Brock, Ian Williams, Demarcus Dobbs, Tony Jerod-Eddie and Michael Wilhoite, among others. Guys like that slip out of the draft for a variety of reasons. It often has to do with injuries and off-the-field issues, but there can be a variety of other reasons.
Morgan Breslin would appear to be one of the guys who had to deal with injury issues. He suffered a hip injury that resulted in sports hernia surgery, and cost him all but five games his final season at USC. He also missed some time in 2012, and given how that likely would impact his draft stock, it sounds like Breslin was prepared.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Rand Getlin, Breslin invested in a loss of value insurance policy that could provide a payout of between $750,000 and $1 million. According to Getlin's source, he took out the policy in 2012 and it provided $2 million to $3 million worth of coverage. I'm not sure how they get from there to $750,000 to $1 million, but I'm not an insurance expert. I'd imagine the policy included some kind of coverage for the insurance company based on any potential pre-existing conditions. An underwriter will determine how a payment will work. It's a fascinating article, so give it a read.
Breslin has been viewed as a serious under-the-radar option, but the injuries are a big issue. He did not get invited to the NFL Combine, and was pretty pissed about it. At the USC Pro Day, he measured in at 6'1, 240 pounds. He'll need to bulk up a little bit. The 49ers outside linebackers are usually a little bit bigger, with Aaron Lynch the smallest at 249 pounds.
Breslin is one UDFA who could very well work his way into a roster spot. The 49ers have a strong pair of starting outside linebackers, and a strong trio behind them. Of course, with Aldon Smith facing a potential suspension, would the 49ers be comfortable with Ahmad Brooks, Dan Skuta, Corey Lemonier and Aaron Lynch? A fifth OLB is not a lock, but I don't know that it is entirely out of the realm of the possible. Breslin is in a pretty good situation. If he can stay healthy and produce in August, a roster spot could be there for the taking.