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49ers sign RB DuJuan Harris, release WR Chris Harper

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Roster manipulation at its finest.

The San Francisco 49ers appear to have figured out their 2016 player who will be the weekly transaction watch. The team announced on Tuesday that they have signed running back DuJuan Harris, and waived wide receiver Chris Harper. This move comes a day after they made the reverse move a few hours before Monday Night Football.

Back in 2014, the 49ers waived and re-signed quarterback Josh Johnson three times. The team used his veteran status as a way of effectively having a 54th man on the roster. Pro Football Talk described it back then as follows:

A vested veteran not subject to waivers gets cut late in the week, after being around long enough to get a game check. Then, immediately after the next game, the player returns to the roster. Eventually (sometime later that same week), the player is cut again.

Lather, rinse, repeat; right up until the trade deadline, after which all players who are released must pass through waivers.

The game check is paid midweek, as opposed to on game day, so by sticking on the roster into Friday, Harris is eligible to be paid 1/17th of his contract for the week’s work. Harris could

Harris could decide to head elsewhere after he is released because he is a free agent, and not subject to waivers. However, there is probably a sufficient wink-wink, nudge-nudge type of deal in place. I’m sure it is against league rules to have side agreements like this, but I'd imagine this is something that happens elsewhere around the league.

And so, we wait and see if Harris gets to stick around the roster this week, or if he is released again to clear some space. Harper likely will return to the practice squad for the week of practice.

The roster manipulation continues!