Trimming the Fat: Veterans That Won’t Make the Final Roster
Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
Every year, plenty of veterans find themselves on the outside looking in when the final cuts are made for NFL teams. The San Francisco 49ers enter the 2020 season with one of the most talented top-to-bottom rosters and there are sure to be some disappointed experienced players when the group is cut down to 53. Here are some of those players that will not be suiting up in the Red and Gold this fall.
C.J. Beathard, Quarterback
This is it. This is finally the year that head coach Kyle Shanahan moves on from C.J. Beathard. After being drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft, Beathard has seen the field in relief duty of Brian Hoyer and Jimmy Garoppolo. After failing to grab the bull by the horns in 2018, he was eclipsed on the depth chart by fellow backup Nick Mullens and did not dress for a single game during the 49ers’ Super Bowl run. Despite Shanahan’s past statements, the team needs the depth elsewhere and cannot afford to carry three quarterbacks again.
Shon Coleman, Offensive Tackle
When the 49ers traded for Shon Coleman before the start of the 2018 season, it was expected that he would compete for the swing tackle position to back up stalwart left tackle Joe Staley and rookie right tackle Mike McGlinchey. While he did make the final roster, he never suited up for a game after being beat out by Justin Skule. In 2019, he spent the entire season on the injured reserve list, making it two entire seasons without playing a meaningful snap. This offseason the 49ers traded for Trent Williams and drafted Kolton McKivitz out of West Virginia University, and Coleman is still behind Skule on the depth chart. It looks like he will never play a regular season snap for Kyle Shanahan.
Dontae Johnson, Cornerback
Hope everyone enjoyed their last moments because Dontae Johnson will not be on the 49ers roster this fall. Johnson is a player that was drafted in 2014 by former general manager Trent Baalke and has managed to stick around Santa Clara with a brief vacation to the Pacific Northwest. He has a familiarity with the defensive scheme, which makes his presence during an abbreviated training camp vitally important. Before Johnson departs, he will be able to impart his knowledge onto young cornerbacks like Tim Harris and DeMarkus Acy.
Jason Verrett, Cornerback
In somewhat of a surprise, general manager John Lynch did not draft any cornerbacks during April’s draft. Cornerback is viewed as the weakest group on the roster and as such, listing two veteran corners losing their job may be head-scratching. However, both Lynch and Shanahan have espoused that a player’s best ability is availability and despite Verrett’s overwhelming talent, he has only played 26 out of a possible 80 games over the course of his career. At this point, it isn’t just one or two bad breaks; it has been four seasons of six games or fewer. The 49ers will move on from Verrett because they cannot come to rely on him to play a large role.
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