We’re going to look at departures from each position prior to Week 1 of the 2018 season and see how they fared after leaving the San Francisco 49ers. Some players went on to better careers, while others may be out of the league. We won’t be highlighting every transaction, just some notable ones. Today, we look at the wide receivers.
This is going to be difficult. The 49ers wide receivers had one of the most competitive units heading into 2018 training camp. They couldn’t hold onto everybody. It was a fun game here with the community as we guessed which receivers would be the odd men out when final cuts to the 53-man roster were established and no list was quite the same.
The reason this gets difficult is because there were a lot of training camp transactions and practice squad sign-offs. If you look strictly at the wide receivers left to walk in free agency, there aren’t very many. The one name to note that left during the season is Victor Bolden Jr. He was suspended for a PED violation and upon returning was sent to the practice squad. He is no longer with the team, but that was due to being signed off the practice squad in December by the Buffalo Bills. If you thought he wouldn’t get anywhere better than the practice squad after his PED suspension you were kidding yourself.
So that’s where we stress the following: these departures are not complete and do not include all transactions following final roster cuts. There were practice squad additions, poaching, releases—you name it, and the wide receivers was a group that got the brunt of it. For the most part, we tried to focus on players that compiled a single stat of any kind on gameday.
Probably the better of the departures, Robinson came to the 49ers from the Atlanta Falcons. Seen as a veteran and someone to help get the unit up to speed with Kyle Shanahan’s offense, Robinson finished 2017 with 19 receptions for 260 yards. He was released in 2018 in final roster cuts and signed with the Minnesota Vikings in mid-September. With the Vikings, Robinson had near-identical numbers to his year in San Francisco, 17 receptions 230 yards. He signed a contract for just the 2018 season, so he is a free agent.
You’re may be wondering who Louis Murphy is. Well, he’s the guy who helped usher in the era of Garoppolo by doing this. For the rest of 2017, Murphy established some solid rapport with Garoppolo and finished the season with 128 yards. Nothing to light the world on fire, but he had some nice catches. Following the 2017 season, Murphy found himself out of a job. He signed a one-year deal and was not brought back, by any team in the NFL. Given his age (31) his NFL career may be over.
Would you like to have any of these wide receivers back on the team?