The 49ers have officially locked up the remainder of their practice squad for the 2014 offseason. The NFL released their latest transaction report, and it lists the 49ers as having signed quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson and running back Jewel Hampton to reserve/future contracts. That means they are on the roster for the offseason workout program and into training camp.
These two signings give the 49ers 11 players under reserve/future contracts. They include:
QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson
OT Carter Bykowski
RB Jewel Hampton
WR Chuck Jacobs
OT Al Netter
DT Mike Purcell
WR David Reed
WR DeMarco Sampson
DB Dax Swanson
DT Christian Tupou
WR Devon Wylie
McBLT will compete for a backup quarterback spot, having spent the last two months on the 49ers practice squad. Colt McCoy is a free agent and I just can't see the 49ers bringing him back for 2014. I suppose he could sign for a near minimum deal to compete for a job, but otherwise, I just don't see it. McBLT has a shot at the No. 3 spot, but would seem to be highly unlikely to claim the No. 2 job. The 49ers could go for a veteran backup, or look at some rookie options. I could very well see the 49ers investing a mid-round pick to bring in a very solid developmental option.
Hampton spent the 2013 season on the 49ers practice squad. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He spent the first three months of the season on the NFI list, but then was activated to the 53-man roster for December and January. He was inactive that entire time.
The 49ers have extensive depth at running back, with some question marks that make it all the more difficult to sort through. Anthony Dixon is a free agent, but otherwise, they return Hampton, Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James and Marcus Lattimore. I love having a lot of depth at running back, but this would not seem to bode well for Hampton's roster chances. There remains a question of how they'll handle Frank Gore's contract. It would seem like he either re-negotiates with an extension to spread out the cap hit, or he is let go. I think we see the former, but anything is possible.
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