There was much attention on the San Francisco 49ers‘ wide receiver unit during training camp and preseason. On Saturday, the smoke cleared as unsurprisingly, the likes of Lavelle Hawkins, Austin Collie, Chad Hall and Chuck Jacobs were released.
Other than Jacobs, who stands a chance of potentially staying on with the 49ers as a member of their practice squad, expect all the others to either be picked up by another team or wait around for a chance to join an NFL team.
While there was a lot of doubt about who would emerge and make the final 53-man roster, the situation with the wide receivers began to play itself out as training camp took place and the 49ers played their respective preseason games.
From the beginning, it was known that Anquan Boldin and Quinton Patton were the two wide receivers who did not have to worry about fighting for a place. Kyle Williams was also essentially assured his place on the roster once he was activated from the PUP list.
With the likes of Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham on the PUP list and either expected to be back after Week 6, this meant that along with those cut on Saturday, the likes of A.J. Jenkins, Marlon Moore and Ricardo Lockette were competing over two open spots.
Once the 49ers released Lockette in the first round of cuts last week and traded Jenkins to the Kansas City Chiefs, this meant that there was only going to be a spot open for one more wide receiver to be part of the active roster.
In the end, it was Moore who won the final spot as his play was better and more consistent among all the others. In addition, it was Moore who also played with the first team offense in each of the preseason games, a clear signal that he was leading the battle all along.
The 49ers will be going with five wide receivers on the 53-man roster and in the end, those wide receivers who were released on Saturday were not surprising.