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Kendall Hunter clears waivers, leaves 49ers with decision

The San Francisco 49ers waived/injured Kendall Hunter, and the running back has cleared waivers. We break down the 49ers current options.

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers waived/injured running back Kendall Hunter on Monday, and a day later, he has cleared waivers per ESPN's Field Yates. That means none of the other 31 teams placed a claim on his contract. With Hunter clearing waivers, the 49ers have two options:

1) They can place him on their injured reserve list. If they did this, they would pay him his $645,000 in base salary (barring a split contract). Additionally, he would be able to continue rehabbing at the 49ers facility. Furthermore, the 49ers would retain exclusive negotiating rights with him until the free agency negotiation period opens in March. As I understand it, he would factor into the comp pick formula after the season if he signed elsewhere for more than a league minimum deal.

2) They can pay him an injury settlement, which would make him a free agent. An injury settlement is paid out as X number of game checks. Given that Hunter tore his ACL, that would likely mean all 17 weeks of checks. He would not count in the comp pick formula after this season.

We'll probably find out in the next day or two what the 49ers decide with regard to Hunter. It's hard to tell how long the odds are regarding his future with the 49ers after 2014. It very well could depend on how Marcus Lattimore's situation develops. If his knee remains a problem, maybe the 49ers decide Hunter is a guy to bring back for an inexpensive deal and see if he is ready to get back on the field next summer.