Scott Tolzien was the only 49ers quarterback who didn’t the field last night, and today he was one of five players the team waived as they work to cut their roster down from 90 to 75 players by 1 pm Tuesday. RB D.J. Harper, G Al Netter, LB Joe Holland and P Colton Schmidt were also cut today.
Tolzien is practice squad eligible, although it’s questionable as to why the 49ers would make that move. He’s been in the system for two years and hasn’t shown drastic improvement since the 49ers added him at the end of the 2011 preseason after he was waived by the San Diego Chargers.
That leaves Colt McCoy, B.J. Daniels and Seneca Wallace as the potential backups to Colin Kaepernick. After last night’s 34-14 win over the Vikings, Jim Harbaugh said, “I feel real good right now that Colt’s the backup.” That’s also close to what Harbaugh said in June, but the 49ers were rumored to be shopping McCoy as recently as yesterday afternoon.
Harbaugh made some excuses for McCoy last night (“He’s probably set a record for being, starting a drive inside the 10 yard line in the preseason.), but he surely saw the same problems we all did. McCoy’s throwing arm is weak, he’s a little too quick to tuck and run for a guy without great speed, and his wobbly overthrow of Chad Hall last night was one of the worst passes I’ve seen in a long time.
Believe everything Harbaugh says during press conferences at your own peril.
Also reportedly on the trading block: Parys Haralson, who played well during the first two exhibition games (his cumulative rating of 5.0 from Pro Football Focus leads the 49ers defense this preseason), but played fewer snaps than every other outside linebacker last night.
49ers OLB snap counts vs. Vikings (via PFF)
- Corey Lemonier: 27
- Dan Skuta: 26
- Aldon Smith: 22
- Ahmad Brooks: 22
- Cam Johnson: 14 (Johnson left the game with a shoulder injury)
- Parys Haralson: 13
Haralson agreed to a hefty cut in pay that took his salary down from $2.67 million to $1.15 million, but if the 49ers are indeed shopping him it may not necessarily be due to financial concerns. The 49ers have to be pleased with what Lemonier has shown so far since they drafted him in the third round, and Skuta has recorded two sacks and possesses a strong special teams resume. Outside linebacker was a position where the 49ers were thin in 2012, but as of now it’s one of the team’s strengths.
It’s possible the 49ers would like to shave some salary to make room for extensions for players like Mike Iupati or Tarell Brown, and just in terms of a profits-and-losses scenario they might want to save money to offset all the cash they’ll have to pay injured players like Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham.
Player-for-player deals are rare in the NFL, but in light of the recent trade of A.J. Jenkins for the Jonathan Baldwin I wonder if the 49ers might look to deal Haralson for depth at another position (like cornerback, wide receiver, tackle or even quarterback). A deal for a draft pick is probably more likely if a trade is made, but when it comes to the San Francisco 49ers and their transactions, anything is possible.