And just like that, the Anthony "Boobie" Dixon era has come to an end in San Francisco. The 49ers running back and special teamer announced on Twitter that he will sign on the dotted line with the Buffalo Bills Saturday morning. The decision comes after he visited with them and the Tennessee Titans over the last week.
Dixon's departure is not surprising, but it still kind of sucks. He was never the best player on the 49ers, let alone the best running back, but he was a ball of energy that brought 100 percent to special teams. He wanted more opportunities as a running back, and I'm curious to see how much of a rushing opportunity he gets in Buffalo. He will slot in behind C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson on the depth chart. Those two split the bulk of the carries, but they also both have dealt with injury issues. According to Buffalo Rumblings, the Bills struggled in short yardage situations, so Dixon could get some work there. And considering both Spiller and Jackson are approaching free agency, maybe more opportunities will arise.
Dixon was always one of my favorite 49ers. While he was never a big contributor on offense, his infectious enthusiasm made him hard to dislike. Every single year it seemed like he was counted out. I think every single year when we put together our bubble watch articles, he was always on the wrong side of the bubble at one point or another in the offseason. The 49ers brought in numerous running backs and special teamers over his four seasons with the 49ers, and he continually earned a roster spot. He excelled on special teams, he learned the fullback role, and he did short yardage work. He was a jack of all trades, master of none, and he was easy to like.
The 49ers lose a very talented special teams contributor, but they've got talent to fill the void. If they get Kassim Osgood back for another year, he adds further depth. Nick Moody is the guy who will get more opportunities in the coming season. He missed a sizable chunk of 2013 with a broken hand, but will get opportunities in 2014 both on special teams, and as depth at linebacker while NaVorro Bowman is sidelined.
All that being said, Boobie will be missed. Best of luck in Buffalo!