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49ers roster cuts 2014: What the first 15 transactions mean

The 49ers cut down to 75 players. We take a look at what this means moving forward in the preseason and the regular season.

Ezra Shaw

The San Francisco 49ers cut down their roster from 90 players to 75 players on Monday evening. They had until 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, but there was no need to wait. The team placed seven players on the NFI and PUP lists, waived six players, and released one. Here is a list of the 15 roster moves:

Waived
QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson
D.J. Campbell
TE Kevin Greene
RB Jewel Hampton
Colton Schmidt
LB Kion Wilson
WR Devon Wylie

Released (vested veteran)
WR David Reed

NFI list
RB Marcus Lattimore
FB Trey Millard
CB Keith Reaser
OG Brandon Thomas

PUP list
LB NaVorro Bowman
TE Garrett Celek
DT Kaleb Ramsey

The first set of cuts do not tell us a lot about the team given that the first few guys were long shots to make the 53-man roster in the first place. However, some of these 15 transactions give us a few thoughts to consider.

Backup Quarterback

Heading into camp, I figured McLeod Bethel-Thompson had a good chance of earning a practice squad spot, and maybe he could snag the third QB role. I still think the 49ers only carry two QBs, but if there is a third, it will be either Josh Johnson or Blaine Gabbert. McBLT has practice squad eligibility, and the 49ers could certainly use a practice squad QB. But is it possible the 49ers eventually add Kory Faulkner instead? I have no reason to think this is a certainty, but it would not surprise me.

Practice Squad

All seven players waived are eligible for the practice squad. I included McBLT on the practice squad in my last roster projection, and it is still possible. The rest of that group does not do much to excite me. David Reed is NOT eligible for the practice squad.

Running Back

The 49ers decision to waive Jewel Hampton is not shocking, but given that he spent all last year on the practice squad, it is a little bit surprising. However, as we saw this past Sunday, it would seem both Alfonso Smith and Glenn Winston have moved past Hampton in the 49ers eyes. Smith does not have practice squad eligibility, while Winston does have eligibility. If Winston is waived during final cuts, barring a claim by another team, he may have earned a ticket to the practice squad.

The wait continues

The two most notable players added to the PUP and NFI lists were NaVorro Bowman and Marcus Lattimore. Neither is a surprise, although most of us were hoping Lattimore could get on the active roster in training camp. He will continue rehabbing for a minimum of six more weeks, at which point he can start practicing again. It really is impossible to tell what his timeline is for returning, so I won't even begin to guess.

Bowman will be eligible to practice after six weeks, but odds are pretty good his PUP list stint is a little longer. There has been talk of a mid-to-late season return for Bowman. Some have suggested after the bye week, others have said December, and others are somewhere in between. My guess is late November. I do think the 49ers can withstand the loss and still win enough ball games. If Wilhoite, Borland and/or Moody are solid in his place and the defense is playing well, I have to think the 49ers are especially conservative in bring him back. I don't think they'll ever be aggressive with it, but they could be even more conservative than some expect if his replacements buy him some time.

Is there anything else you take away from these initial roster cuts?

Players currently on roster: 75
QB Colin Kaepernick
QB Blaine Gabbert
QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson
QB Josh Johnson

RB Frank Gore
RB LaMichael James
RB Jewel Hampton
RB Marcus Lattimore
RB Carlos Hyde
RB Alfonso Smith
RB Glenn Winston

FB Bruce Miller
FB Will Tukuafu
FB Trey Millard

WR Michael Crabtree
WR Anquan Boldin
WR Quinton Patton
WR Brandon Lloyd
WR Stevie Johnson
WR Bruce Ellington
WR Kassim Osgood
WR David Reed
WR Devon Wylie
WR L'Damian Washington
WR Lance Lewis
TE Vernon Davis
TE Vance McDonald
TE Garrett Celek
TE Derek Carrier
TE Asante Cleveland
TE Kevin Greene

OT Joe Staley
OT Anthony Davis
OT Carter Bykowski
OT Jonathan Martin
OT Michael Philipp

OG Mike Iupati
OG Adam Snyder
OG Joe Looney
OG Al Netter
OG Ryan Seymour
OG Brandon Thomas

C Daniel Kilgore
C Marcus Martin
C Dillon Farrell

DL Justin Smith
DL Ray McDonald
DL Ian Williams
DL Glenn Dorsey
DL Tank Carradine
DL Quinton Dial
DL Demarcus Dobbs
DL Tony Jerod-Eddie
DL Lawrence Okoye
DL Mike Purcell
DL Kaleb Ramsey

ILB Patrick Willis
ILB NaVorro Bowman
ILB Michael Wilhoite
ILB Nick Moody
ILB Chris Borland
ILB Shayne Skov
ILB Kion Wilson

OLB Aldon Smith
OLB Ahmad Brooks
OLB Corey Lemonier
OLB Dan Skuta
OLB Aaron Lynch
OLB Chase Thomas

CB Tramaine Brock
CB Chris Culliver
CB Perrish Cox
CB Darryl Morris
CB Chris Cook
CB Jimmie Ward
CB Dontae Johnson
CB Keith Reaser
CB Kenneth Acker

S Eric Reid
S Antoine Bethea
S Craig Dahl
S C.J. Spillman
S Raymond Ventrone
S D.J. Campbell
S James McCray

K Phil Dawson

P Andy Lee
P Colton Schmidt

LS Kevin McDermott
LS Kyle Nelson