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.
The close of the 2016 NFL Draft means we begin the final lengthy haul toward the start of the new season. We are approximately 90 days from the training camp reporting date for San Francisco 49ers veterans. The team has OTAs and minicamp, and then the dead period in late June and early July, but next thing you know, it will be training camp! We've begun our annual 90-in-90 series, starting out fairly low key. We opened with Shaun Draughn, and now we move on to linebacker Nick Bellore. The series will include a new section titled contract status. This is about understanding all the players on the roster, and the contract is part of that understanding.
The 49ers signed Bellore a year ago, and he is entering the second season of a two-year deal. He is listed as a linebacker, but he has played almost exclusively special teams for the 49ers. In his first year, he played 391 snaps, and 384 of those were on special teams. He led the team in special teams snaps, playing on most of the various units. He will get some preseason work at linebacker just to fill out the depth chart, but he is a special teams player through and through.
Signed a 2-year deal worth $1,690,000 in 2015. He is entering the final year of that deal. His base salary is $760,000, he has a $50,000 workout bonus, and he has $305,000 in other bonus money. His cap figure is $1,130,000.
Why he might improve, regress
This is one of the few where I'll combine improvement and regression. I suppose Bellore could all of a sudden become a serviceable inside linebacker, but it seems like he is destined for a career of special teams. At age 26, any improvement or regression is probably connected to the various special teams units as a whole. Well, that and special teams coach Derius Swinton. The 49ers ranked No. 27 in Football Outsiders' special teams rankings, with negative DVOA (that's bad) in everything except field goals and extra points. The team did not do much in free agency, so they will be counting on the returning players and rookies to step up.
Odds of making the roster
I have Bellore on my initial 53-man roster projection, but when a player is strictly a special teams contributor, it is not exactly cut and dry. Given the limitations of the 46-man game-day roster, players that can do multiple things are incredible valuable. Of course, Bellore's ability to play on the bulk of the special teams units is going to benefit him in the competition for a roster spot. I think Bellore is likely to make the roster, but a change in coaching staff makes it at least a little bit interesting.