The San Francisco 49ers welcomed back offensive lineman Alex Boone earlier this week, and made it official on Saturday when they moved him from their exempt list, to their 53-man roster. The 49ers had Boone on the Reserve/Did Not Report list, but when he ended his holdout, the 49ers were given a brief exemption.
In order to make room for Boone, the 49ers released wide receiver Kassim Osgood. This marked Osgood's second release in less than a week. On August 30, the 49ers released Osgood as part of their final cut down to the 53-man roster. They then signed him this past Tuesday when Glenn Dorsey was placed on injured reserve with the return designation.
There has been no comment as to why the team made the move, but I have a couple ideas. The first is similar to last year. The 49ers cut Osgood at the end of camp, only to sign him after Week 1. In doing so, the 49ers saved the guarantee that they would have owed Osgood. As someone described it to me, the salary itself doesn't become guaranteed, but rather, vested veterans on the roster Week 1 can claim their entire salary as severance/retirement pay at the end of the season. They can only do this once in their career.
So why did the 49ers bring Osgood back, only to unload him again, with the chance of bringing him back one more time next week? Jason from Over The Cap had an interesting bit of information of which I was not completely aware:
@mattbarrows I believe osgood move was so he would get paid this week but not have contract guaranteed— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) September 6, 2014
@NinersNation I believe for this week it was Wednesday. Rest of the year I know is Tuesday— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) September 6, 2014
Fwiw veterans do get a 25% guarantee if signed after week 1 #nfl— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) September 6, 2014
It sounds like that means Osgood got paid by being on the roster on Wednesday, but does not get that "guarantee" having been cut before the 49ers Week 1 game. I don't know if the 49ers are in fact going to bring him back next week, but either way, they kind of did him a solid by paying him for a week in which he will not play.