Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.
A year ago, the San Francisco 49ers signed Jerome Simpson to a two-year contract. The signing came even as the team knew Simpson was facing a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He received a six-game suspension last August, and returned to the 49ers roster in Week 8.
Over the final nine games of the season, Simpson was active for six games. He was listed as a starter for one game, and did not get a snap in one game. He finished the season with five receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown. He played 84 offensive snaps in the five games he played, with a season high 33 in his first game.
He is entering year two of the two-year contract signed prior to the 2015 season. He is set to earn $885,000, with a $50,000 workout bonus. That would be a $935,000 cap hit. If he makes it to training camp and is eventually cut, the team would have a $50,000 dead money hit from the workout bonus.
Why he might improve
He's getting up there, but a full offseason without a suspension hanging over his head is certainly a plus. And the potential to have an offense that is slightly more competent would seem to bode well for him. Add in that he has some height that Chip Kelly might like, and maybe there's something there. He actually needs to make the roster first, but the wide receivers as a whole have a chance of improving considerably after last season.
Why he might regress
He's 30. That's not a good number for football players. That doesn't mean he'll just do nothing, but with the suspension and inconsistent usage last season, it's easy to think his physical tools might not be going in the right direction.
Odds of making the roster
He's got veteran experience, and some solid size, but I just don't see him making the roster this year. I see a wide receiver depth chart that includes Torrey Smith, Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington, DeAndre Smelter, and Eric Rogers. That leaves maaaaybe one spot. Simpson would be competing with Aaron Burbridge and DeAndrew White, among others for that opportunity. I would rather see a rookie or second year player earn an opportunity over Simpson.