From a full complement of 90 starting in camp, the San Francisco 49ers cut their roster to 80 on Tuesday, then down to the 53 on Saturday. The big surprise: Quarterback Josh McCown.
Big decisions looming for Coach Jim Harbaugh and general manger Trent Baalke include decisions at fullback (Moran Norris or rookie Bruce Miller, who can also help on defense) and wide receiver (rookie Ron Johnson over incumbent backup Kyle Williams).
Perhaps the toughest decisions will come at cornerback where Cory Nelms, Phillip Adams, Shawntae Spencer and Tarell Brown all have been strong. The inclusion of Spencer is the surprise in that he started last year but has missed nearly three weeks of practices due to a sore hamstring. Brown, Adams and Tramaine Brock have played well.
Also, the cutting of linebacker Scott McKillop earlier in the week also added import to the line of thinking that the 49ers' 2009 draft turned out less than stellar. Crabtree remains the biggest disappointment in that he hasn’t performed like the 10th player taken in the draft. But there was good news: Crabtree is off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and is ready for practice. It remains to be seen how much he plays Thursday against the Chargers.
Third-round pick Glen Coffee “retired” from the 49ers last year, and fifth-round pick McKillop did play. Another fifth-rounder, Nate Davis, is out of football, and sixth-rounder Bear Pascoe has found a slot with the Giants, though his chance for breaking into a starting role with the Niners was minimal, at best.
Free safety Curtis Taylor and nose tackle Ricky Jean-Francois were the sixth- and seventh-round picks. That means only Crabtree and Francois remain from the class of ’09, which was the last draft ostensibly run by former player personnel director Scot McCloughan.
Here’s a rundown of the 49ers cuts.