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 San Francisco 49ers were busy during free agency, but they made a few under the radar moves prior to hiring Kyle Shanahan. They signed four players to reserve/future contracts, with two of the signings coming before they hired GM John Lynch. One of those signings was wide receiver Rashad Ross.
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.
Ross is a Bay Area native, born and raised in Vallejo. He went to college at Arizona State after two years of junior college. In two seasons at ASU he had 55 receptions for 864 yards and seven touchdowns. He also returned 28 kicks, averaging 27.8 yards per return.
He was an undrafted free agent 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 kick returner and wide receiver. In 2015, he played in 13 games and returned 28 kicks averaging 24.4 yards per return.
Experience: 2 accrued seasons
Weight: 180 lbs
Signed reserve/future contract. If Ross makes the 49ers 53-man roster, he will have a base salary of $615,000.
Why he might improve in 2017
In 2016, he appeared in five games, in which he had one catch for eight yards and one kick return for 22 yards. There’s certainly not much room for regression at this point.
Why he might regress in 2017
He ran a 4.36 40 at his Pro Day, but that was four years ago. He turned 27 this offseason, so it’s not like he’s getting any younger.
Odds of making the roster
His best chance at making the roster would be as a returner. The 49ers added a whole swath of wide receivers. Pierre Garçon, Jeremy Kerley, Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, and Trent Taylor all seem like strong bets to claim five spots. If the 49ers keep a sixth receiver, Ross faces an extensive competition with Aaron Burbridge, DeAndre Smelter, Kendrick Bourne, Victor Bolden, and DeAndre Carter. Six guys competing for maybe one spot.
And of course, he was signed before John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan were brought on board, so he does not exactly have a lot of cache with the coaching staff. Ross’ roster chances would seem to be in the long-shot category for the time being.