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NFL San Francisco 49ers

5 San Francisco 49ers Cut Victims Who Deserved a Roster Spot

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5 San Francisco 49ers Cut Victims Who Deserved a Roster Spot

49ers
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Playing in the NFL is a stressful job. It is the one sport where you're career can be over instantaneously. There are very few dollars that are guaranteed. There are even less spots that are guaranteed on a roster. The hardest day of the NFL season is cut day. It is the day that teams have to make hard decisions and say goodbye to longtime players. They might still be productive, but the money is needed elsewhere. Sometimes it's a rookie who's dream ends here or a veteran who spent over a decade with the team. For the most part, nobody is safe.

As with every team, the San Francisco 49ers had some tough decisions to make. Jim Harbaugh is considered one of the best coaches in the NFL, and the best are measured by how they deal with these kinds of decisions. When it comes to the players towards the end of the roster, you are talking about a limited role. They are important nonetheless. Whether they are vital special teams players or a guy who could come in when an injury happens, they play a role.

The 49ers didn't make too many national headlines with their roster cuts. They made it to 53 without cutting a "Tim Tebow" or a "Vince Young". Don't take that away from some of the moves they made. They are already dealing with injuries without playing a game that counts. They are decimated at the wide receiver position. They needed to find a new backup quarterback. Their special teams needed to be locked up. These seem like problems that aren't a big deal, until they become a big deal.

The following five players could have helped the 49ers this upcoming season. Instead, they will play for someone else.

Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your Google circle.

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5. Brian Jennings

49ers
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

A long snapper can be the most under appreciated player in an NFL locker room. 99% of fans couldn't name five in the entire league. Brian Jennings held down the position for the 49ers since 2000. He has put on the gold and red jersey for 13 seasons. That ended on Saturday when the team decided to stick with undrafted rookie Kevin McDermott. It was clearly a money move as the rookie is set to make half of what Jennings was going to make. The move seems to be one that may not hurt on the field, but maybe in the locker room. It isn't every year your team surprisingly cuts a guy who made the Pro Bowl a year earlier.

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4. Trenton Robinson

49ers
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Trenton Robinson was a player that most people didn't know coming out of Michigan State. He grew up in the Bay Area, so playing for the 49ers must have been a dream come true. He showed great promise during the preseason, even getting some first team repetitions. He ended up being a casualty of playing on a team that was too good defensively. Robinson was never bad this preseason, but others just seemed to have a better pedigree. Maybe it was his size (he is 5-foot-9), but he played bigger than he was. He has already picked up with the Philadelphia Eagles and looked to make an impact with their practice squad. The motor and drive on this guy would have been a great addition to this 49er team.

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3. Marcus Cooper

49ers
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Cooper is a player that most people will really notice that he is on the team or not in his first season, but it isn't the first season we're looking at here. Cooper just recently moved from wide receiver to cornerback and has seemed to make the transition nicely. He is supremely talented with great speed and amazing jumping ability. He could have been a big playmaker if given the chance. The coaches boasted of how everyday he was learning the playbook better and making more and more plays. The Kansas City Chiefs now have his talent to work with. He has already been signed to their 53-man roster and will no doubt end up being a good player for Andy Reid.

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2. Lavelle Hawkins

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Lavelle Hawkins made a heck of an impression in his final preseason game. With one of the best plays the entire preseason, Hawkins tipped a pass to himself, caught it, jumped over a defender, bounced off another and ran 37 yards towards his own sideline to score a touchdown. The depth chart for the 49ers wide receivers won't impress outside of Anquan Boldin. With injuries to Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham, the 49ers could have really used the kind of athleticism that Hawkins would have brought. His mouth makes him a commodity that some teams turn away from, but his talent is undoubtedly some of the best on the market. A team that needs a receiver will pick him up and he will make plays for them.

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1. Austin Collie

49ers
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Collie could be the poster boy for the concussion issue in the NFL — a once prominent career was derailed by head injuries while with the Colts. Collie was making his comeback with a team that could have really used his skills. He stayed healthy so far and will probably be looked at once some of the receivers go down after Week 1. The comeback trail for him does not end here, as they could bring him back later into the season. Collie will end up on a roster before the end of the season. Hopefully, he can make it last this time.