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49ers Roster, 90-in-90 breakdowns: Adam Snyder

Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today we focus on Adam Snyder.

Ezra Shaw

Here at Niners Nation, we're presenting a series called "90-in-90". We'll be looking at every player on the 49ers offseason roster, one player per post, from now until the start of training camp.

The 49ers welcomed back an old friend this offseason when they signed Adam Snyder to a two-year contract. The deal includes a signing bonus of $500,000. Snyder was released by the Arizona Cardinals in April, a year after signing a five-year deal worth $17.5 million. There were limited guarantees in that contract, but the Cardinals are still stuck accounting for $4 million in signing bonus money.

Snyder had a less-than-stellar season in Arizona. He started 14 games, missing two games with injury. Getting 14 starts said more about the state of the Cardinals offensive line than what Snyder brought to the table. He played right guard for the Cardinals for most of the season before getting time at center the final three games of the season.

This followed his time in San Francisco in which he bounced around the entire offensive line. In his time with the 49ers, he started out on the left side of the line, then moved to the right side and played his final year as the starting right guard and a backup option at center. You could call him a jack of all trades but master of none.

The 49ers were content to let him walk along with Chilo Rachal after the 2011 season as they appeared to recognize they had a talented option in Alex Boone (or they were just incredibly lucky!). Snyder goes way back with the 49ers, but the signing still caught most of us by surprise.

What to expect in 2013

Barring something completely unforeseen, I think we know more or less know what we are getting with Adam Snyder. He is a stop-gap measure who can play all five positions on the offensive line. A phrase often used in statistical analysis of sports is replacement-level player. Whether it be DVOA in football or VORP in baseball, the replacement player provides a baseline for how much value a player adds or takes away from a team. Adam Snyder strikes me as that kind of "replacement-level" player.

If he were to make the roster, Snyder would operate as the swing tackle and I suppose a potential mentor to Daniel Kilgore and Joe Looney. Snyder is primarily a guard, but he has gotten plenty of practice at the center position, so he could help push the young guys behind Jonathan Goodwin.

Odds of making the roster

Initially I was skeptical about Snyder's chances of making the 49ers roster this year. Even with a two-year deal, I figured he was mostly just a guy who could push the rest of the players in camp, but eventually would be released. However, in looking over the 49ers roster, he has a better than decent chance of making the team. When the 49ers broke camp last year, they carried three backup offensive linemen: Leonard Davis, Daniel Kilgore and Joe Looney.

In looking at this year's roster, after Kilgore and Looney, Snyder would be competing with OT Kenny Wiggins, seventh-round pick OT Carter Bykowski, OT Luke Marquardt, OG Al Netter, OG Patrick Omameh and OG Wayne Tribue. Of that group, Wiggins, Omameh, Tribue, Netter and Bykowski are all practice squad candidates, while Marquardt would seem to have a good chance of ending up on the PUP list.

If the 49ers go with three backup offensive linemen, Snyder appears to actually be a sizable favorite for the third spot. He has the versatility to play all along the line, and the experience to be a potential stop-gap if necessary. He will get competition from Bykowski, Wiggins and others, but the more I think about it, the more I expect him on the roster come September. Am I off my rocker?

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