The San Francisco 49ers are overhauling their roster in the early stages of a rebuilding process under GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan. This is not surprising, and it is also not surprising to see how significant the overhaul is. Our friends at Over The Cap put together an analysis of roster turnover around the league, and the 49ers figure prominently in it. Some ways are expected, and some are a little surprising.
OTC figured out a handful of categories, including percentage of total snaps lost, percentage of quality snaps lost, percentage of quality special teams snaps lost, and average APY lost, and a ranking based on all these categories.
The 49ers finished No. 1 in most total snaps lost, at 37.5 percent. They also lost 19.8 percent in the quality snaps category. Quality snaps represent players lost who then signed with another team. Obviously some players who got contracts are not the most “quality” of players, but it’s a general way to assess players who signed elsewhere vs. those who have not. The 49ers rank eighth in this category. One issue with this is that a player who has not signed elsewhere is not included. That means Colin Kaepernick does not count as a “quality snap lost.” That also means Dallas’ number doesn’t include Tony Romo, and Chicago’s doesn’t include Jay Cutler.
The 49ers ranked No. 6 overall when combining all the categories. Here’s what OTC had to say about their ranking:
This ranking surprised me especially since Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned and doesn’t count as a lost “quality snap” because of that. For as bad as the 49ers were they saw a large number of free agents get opportunities to play elsewhere, though as you can see by the average APY they are almost all bubble players that may not be on a roster in September. Still teams saw enough talent to at least give them a look.
Some of the notable 49ers starters to sign elsewhere include WR Torrey Smith, S Antoine Bethea, and K Phil Dawson. Part time starts or notable reserves signing elsewhere included RB Shaun Draughn, ILB Michael Wilhoite, ILB Nick Bellore, QB Blaine Gabbert, ILB Gerald Hodges, and Rod Streater. Marcus Cromartie, a notable special teamer, also landed a contract elsewhere.
There is a decent chance this number goes up with final roster cuts in September. The 49ers have a lot of new young talent, and quite a few free agents added to the roster, and they’ll replace some significant players. The average APY lost figure will remain low given the level of talent involved, but the percentage of snaps lost numbers will increase.