While cutdown day in the NFL is a very nervous and tense time for many players, one set of players who are probably more nervous than the rest of their peers are veteran players whose salary cap numbers make them easy to release.
This was the case of long snapper Brian Jennings, a 13-year veteran, who was released on Saturday as the San Francisco 49ers opted to go with a younger and cheaper option at the long snapper position in Kevin McDermott.
In cutting Jennings, the 49ers have made the corrct decision with regards to financial flexibility and necessity. The realities of the current and future 49ers salary cap situation called for Jennings being released as it will save the team $535,000 in salary cap space. Now it may not seem like a lot, it will be of major help as the 49ers prepare to sign several young players to contract extensions.
At the end of the upcoming season, the 49ers will have to be looking at big contractsextensions for players like Aldon Smith, Mike Iupati and Colin Kaepernick. Therefore, the need and ability save money where possible while not weakening the team in the short term was something GM Trent Baalke had to do.
The release of Jennings is not the first move made this offseason by the 49ers with an eye towards reducing the salary cap number. The trade of A.J. Jenkins for Jon Baldwin is another such move.
49ers fans should not necessarily assume that Jennings was solely released for financial reasons, as the abilities of McDermott as a long snapper have been praised. That said, with Jennings being a veteran at a position where he can be replaced by a younger, cheaper option, his release made a lot of sense.