Each year, we like to run a series of posts called "90-in-90." The idea is that we'll take a look at every player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few ways. This roster will certainly change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not exactly 90 players in 90 days. At this point, it's a name we're keeping around for street cred.
A year ago April, the San Francisco 49ers signed UCLA long snapper Kevin McDermott to a 3-year contract at the league minimum. He received a reported $5,000 signing bonus, and then proceeded to take long time 49ers long snapper Brian Jennings's job. Brian Jennings had been with the 49ers for 13 years, first drafted in the seventh round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He earned two Pro Bowl nods, and was about as solid as anybody could hope for at the long snapper position.
McDermott won the long snapper job through no fault of Jennings. Although Jennings is getting older, he remained an excellent long snapper. He did nothing wrong in training camp or the prseason. Instead, he was another victim of the salary cap squeeze. The 49ers will not be able to re-sign every player they want, but moving from Jennings to McDermott saved them a little over $500,000.
The cap savings was big, but it only would have mattered if they got the same consistent performance from McDermott that they got from Jennings. And they did. The long snapper is a position where the less we hear his name, the better. I might be overlooking something, but I don't really recall ever hearing any mention of bad snaps.
Why he might improve:
I don't know that he can improve, so much as just maintain his consistency. Again, I can't recall a single mistake on his part in 2013. I'm sure there were snaps that were not absolutely perfect, but none of them appeared to create problems that cost the 49ers. All the 49ers will look for is another consistent year.
Why he might regress:
Considering he seemed so good last season, we could very well see a mistake or two in 2014. Ideally he turns into another Brian Jennings and strings together another great season, but mistakes do happen.
Odds of making the roster:
He's not going anywhere. I'm sure the 49ers have an emergency long snapper option, but Kevin McDermott appears to be the only true long snapper on the roster. He's not going anywhere.
There is not a lot to discuss with regard ot Kevin McDermott given that he's not going anywhere, and he was just about perfect last season. If you are so inclined, you could also use this article as an extension of this FanPost that started a discussion on veterans who might see their contracts restructured, or simply get cut in the coming year. McDermott came in as a younger, cheaper option, which is par for the course in the NFL, and really most sports. Feel free to throw out some other players/positions where we might see this kind of turnover occur.