After a disastrous season, the 49ers are looking to improve their roster as they prepare for next year. There have been many rumors of who could be on the trading block and it is time we took a look at 7 players who might not make it onto the team in 2020.
1) Jerick McKinnon: The former Viking was signed this past offseason and has had an injury-plagued season that’s limited him to just 11 games played. He also hasn’t done much with his opportunities when he does play, averaging 3.4 yards per carry and catching 20 passes without scoring any touchdowns through week 12. With nearly $5 million remaining on his contract for 2020, McKinnon may find himself playing elsewhere next year.
2) Matt Breida: The 49ers’ 2019 season didn’t go as planned and Matt Breida’s performance hasn’t been the only reason for the team’s struggles. Even when he was healthy, he wasn’t much of a factor with 722 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns so far this year. With the increased depth on the roster at that position, it doesn’t seem like Breida will be on the team next year.
3) Richie James Jr.: The wide receiver has had some bright spots over his rookie season but hasn’t seen many of them since Marquise Goodwin returned to action in week 11. With the depth at that position, plus other needs to address on the team, it’s hard to see James around next year after only catching 5 passes for 38 yards during his first season.
4) Laken Tomlinson: The veteran interior lineman has had a tough time this year starting at right guard for the team. He missed 6 games earlier in the season but seemed to get injured every time he did get back on the field, including being placed on injured reserve after week 11. There’s some questions about his future with this team and if they can find any takers for him via trade for Tomlinson might be packing up his bags.
5) Deebo Samuel: The rookie wide receiver got off to a hot start for the 49ers, catching 5 passes for 72 yards and 2 touchdowns in his first game against the Raiders. He’s been quiet since but has recorded at least one catch in every other game he’s played in. It seems like he could be someone the team will build around but I see plenty of competition for his position even after Marquise Goodwin’s release so it makes sense to let him go if the right offer came along.
6) Jaquiski Tartt: The strong safety has been a good player for the 49ers despite their struggles on defense. He’d been dealing with shoulder issues that have limited him to just 7 games this season and he sat out the final 3 games on the year. With some large contracts at other positions, it’s hard to see him staying around on the team after only making $1.4 million next year, plus he might have difficulty staying healthy if he’s back with the team.
7) Robbie Gould: The 49ers kicker has once again had a subpar season despite high expectations for this year. He missed 2 extra points earlier in the season and has only made 67.3% of his field goals through week 12 which is one of the lowest rates in the league. That doesn’t bode well for him staying with the team, especially considering how deep they are at other positions on offense.
I don’t expect all these players to be let go tomorrow but it’s not crazy to think some of them won’t be with the team next year. It’s not all bad news though, as I have 5 players who are locks to stick around on the 49ers roster after 2020.
Stay tuned for that after this commercial break!
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Collage by Jean Bacarreza, photos from 49ers.com and Getty Images (2) . Check out our partner sites over at Pro Football Spot for more original NFL content and Niners Nation for all things Niners!