The San Francisco 49ers might not have a general manager or head coach, but that is not stopping the organization from doing some business. The NFL released their transaction report for the day, and the 49ers are listed as having signed wide receiver Rashad Ross to a reserve/future contract. Additionally, Eric Branch is reporting the team signed kicker Nick Rose to a similar contract.
A reserve/future contract is used for players that ended the season not on a 53-man roster. That primarily covers practice squads players, but also most anybody who was released during the season can be signed to such a contract. They essentially are place-holder contracts that can get the players through the offseason workout program and into training camp.
The 49ers still have executives in place in their front office amidst the current search. As Matt Maiocco pointed out, assistant GM Tom Gamble and director of pro personnel Mike Williams remain in their positions. Reserve/future contracts are essentially free deals for many signees, so it is not a big sign of anything when they happen. Teams can also offer guaranteed money to some of these players, like we see with UDFAs.
Ross is from Vallejo originally, and went to college at Arizona State. He went undrafted in 2013, and bounced around offseason rosters and practice squads. He made two appearances with Washington, and got some playing time in 2015 and 2016 as a punt returner and wide receiver.
Rose was a kicker at Texas and went undrafted last year. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a UDFA, and then was released. Phil Dawson is a free agent this year. His future remains uncertain both in terms of age and in terms of the 49ers own issues. My guess is the team gets younger at kicker among many other positions, but I guess we’ll see once a front office is set up.