The Buffalo Bills announced eight transactions on Friday, and one of them was former San Francisco 49ers special teams player Marcus Cromartie. After joining the 49ers practice squad in November 2014, he appeared in eight games in 2015 and ten games in 2016. He was able to play both cornerback and safety, but he was mostly a special teams player.
In case you’re wondering, no, the 49ers are not going to get a comp pick for Cromartie, and won’t be getting any comp picks. The 49ers have seen six free agents depart for new contracts. That group includes Cromartie to the Bills, Phil Dawson to the Cardinals, Quinton Patton to the Jets, Shaun Draughn to the Giants, Michael Wilhoite to the Seahawks, and Nick Bellore to Lions. Antoine Bethea and Torrey Smith do not count because they were released, as opposed to becoming unrestricted free agents at the end of their contracts.
Technically Nick Bellore and Quinton Patton do not count in the list of qualifying free agents lost because they signed for league minimum deals. However, even if they did, the 49ers signed too many free agents to more than offset them, according to Over The Cap. The 49ers signed 12 qualifying UFAs, and lost three. Kyle Juszczyk cancelled out Phil Dawson, Marquise Goodwin cancelled out Michael Wilhoite, and Dekoda Watson cancelled out Shaun Draughn. That still leaves nine free agents. The team just signed Jayson DiManche, but odds are good he is at or near a league minimum deal.
Whatever the case, the 49ers will have no comp picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. That was always a favorite of Trent Baalke’s, and I’m sure it’s eating him up that he is not around to get a chance to acquire them now that they can be traded. But given the holes up and down the 49ers roster, I’m perfectly fine with the extensive work in free agency this offseason.