The San Francisco 49ers have made the roster move everyone saw coming and one not many predicted. Reports are coming out that they have promoted Jeff Wilson Jr. to the active roster. To make space they have waived tight end Kaden Smith.
The roster promotion for Wilson made sense. Tevin Coleman suffered an ankle injury in Week 1 and the 49ers needed to compensate by bringing Wilson up to the active roster. Wilson saw regular season action in the latter half of 2018 playing in six games, two of which he started in. He’s no stranger to Kyle Shanahan’s offense and should slot in nicely.
But then there’s Kaden Smith. The rookie tight end was taken in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. While at the time of the pick he was seen as the heir apparent to Garrett Celek, Smith was outplayed by second-year player Ross Dwelley. The 49ers tried to hold onto him by shouldering four tight ends to start the season, but as we said then, if there was a position to be sacrificed it would be tight ends for the fact there’s four of them.
So Smith is now waived and a possible practice squad candidate. He has to clear waivers for the 49ers to be able to sign him to the practice squad and hold onto him. Many wondered if Wilson would get past waivers when the 49ers cut him in their trimming to the 53-man roster and suffice to say, Wilson made it through. It seems like the Smith cut was the same calculated movement where if the 49ers would want to keep him on the practice squad, he’ll be there when he clears waivers.