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49ers bubble watch: Tight ends seem in place, but still questions

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The San Francisco 49ers have questions at almost every position while they work to figure out their 53-man roster. We’ll break down the bubble watch for each one. Today we look at tight ends.

It’s a quiet Sunday, and the San Francisco 49ers bubble watch continues. We’re wrapping up out second straight weekend without anything 49ers football related, so we have to come up with something to entertain ourselves, right? Why not a little bubble watch chatter?

Over the next two weeks, we’re going to take a look at each position, and what the bubble watch looks like. As we’ve done for many years now, the bubble watch breaks down to lock, strong bubble, weak bubble, and longshot. For some positions, we'll have multiple players listed at strong bubble, even though not all are likely to make the roster. But the idea is that they both stand a good shot, even if it is just one of them. Thus far, we have looked at quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers. Today we look at tight ends.

Lock: Bruce Miller, Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Blake Bell

Strong bubble: None

Weak bubble: None

Longshot: Busta Anderson, Je’Ron Hamm

This position is an odd one for the 49ers. They have questions up and down the unit, and yet the depth chart seems pretty much set. I imagine some will argue for Vance McDonald being strong bubble. He’s entering the final year of his contract, so sure, he could be cut, but I just don’t see it. I’m open to arguments for why he is not a roster lock.

I have seen some people suggest the 49ers might trade Bruce Miller. Trades are always possible, but for purposes of the bubble watch, we are just considering whether a player will be cut or not. Considering the 49ers just extended Garrett Celek, it’s safe to say he is not going anywhere. And Blake Bell is entering year two, coming off a first season where he made some strides.

I had pondered Busta Anderson and Je’Ron Hamm as potentially weak bubble, but if I think the team has four locks, can I really include anybody as having a decent roster chance? Longshot doesn’t mean zero chance, but they are significantly limited. Anderson is a skilled tight end, but he has never been able to stay consistently healthy. My guess is the team tries to slide him to the practice squad this year, and then he potentially earns a roster spot next year when McDonald potentially departs in free agency.