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.
On Sunday, we took a look at guard Brandon Fusco in our 90-in-90 series, and today I thought I’d take a look at Tim Barnes. The San Francisco 49ers added several veterans during the offseason, and Barnes and Fusco happened to be officially announced on the same day, May 2.
Barnes entered the NFL as a UDFA with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. After he was cut at the end of the preseason, the Rams signed him to their practice squad for the rest of the season. He was eventually promoted to the 53-man roster in Week 2 of the 2013 season. He appeared in 15 games with no starts the rest of the season. He made four starts and 30 appearances over the next two seasons. He worked his way into the starting lineup in 2015, starting at center every game in 2015 and 2016.
Pro Football Focus ranked Barnes No. 31 among centers, one spot behind Daniel Kilgore. He ranked No. 33 in run-blocking and No. 30 in pass-blocking.
Experience: 5 accrued seasons
Weight: 306 lbs
Signed a one-year deal for $795,000. He received a $20,000 bonus, and his base salary is the veteran league minimum at $775,000. He can earn an undetermined amount of not likely to be earned incentives.
Why he might improve in 2017
Similarly to Fusco, there is the hope that he finds himself in a better position in Kyle Shanahan’s blocking scheme. That being said, more than likely, the top end of his chances this season will be as the primary backup to Jeremy Zuttah.
Why he might regress in 2017
He got a chance to start these past two seasons, and ranked among the worst centers in both years. There’s no reason to think he has much of a ceiling, and might just not be a particularly good player. In that case, he would be cut.
Odds of making the roster
Barnes was brought in the provide some competition at center. Jeremy Zuttah seems like the favorite to start in spite of missing most of the offseason workout program practices. Daniel Kilgore handled first team center work for most of the program, but will be pushed plenty when training camp arrives. However, even if he loses the starting job to Zuttah, Kilgore has some guard experience when he was an early reserve for the 49ers. Barnes seems to only have center experience. That combined with his veteran minimum salary and the rest of the competition for interior line work suggest he faces a tough climb for a roster spot.