Sakamoto: 49ers 1st Wave of Roster Cuts…

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The deadline for NFL teams to trim their roster from 90 to 75 players in what is commonly referred to as the “first wave” of cuts is August 30 at 1:00 pm PT. NFL hopefuls trying to keep their NFL dreams alive, it is unfortunately Judgement Day for 15 players, as those cut will need to return their playbooks immediately — and the San Francisco 49ers are no exception.

15 players from their current 90-man roster will no longer be in the team’s plans moving forward. Sad but true.

So the question remains, who are those players?

While it’s hard to predict those first wave of cuts, due to the team needing depth at certain positions to play out the fourth preseason game — I broke down the roster and came up with a list of players who I believe won’t be retained sooner rather than later. However, in the middle of writing this article, it was brought to my attention that the team cut nine players including:

That leaves four remaining roster cuts, as the team gets down to the 75 roster-man limit. So which candidates are on the chopping block? See my take below, as I break it down, Beast Writer style:

1. WR Ryan Whalen

Analysis: Whalen is the latest addition to the 49ers 90-man roster. A spot that was made available once the team waived injured S Jered Bell, I can’t help but think Whalen will be released in the first wave, as he is way behind on the learning curve in terms of grasping HC Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense.

2. DE Jason Fanaika

Analysis: Nothing more than a camp body, Fanaika has done little to impress the 49ers coaching staff, and will likely not be retained sooner rather than later.

3. TE Je’Ron Hamm

Analysis: The tight-end was another late addition to the team. A roster spot made available once the 49ers placed RB Shaun Draughn on season-ending IR, Hamm has done little since coming to San Francisco off the waiver wire.

The 49ers already have a log-jam at the position with TE Vance McDonald, TE Garrett Celek, TE Bruce Miller and TE Blake Bell, so retaining Hamm or TE Busta Anderson makes little sense.

4. TE Busta Anderson

Analysis: The team’s seventh-round pick (No. 254) of the 2015 NFL Draft, Anderson has done nothing for me to think he will be retained – even as a practice squad player. Again, the 49ers already have a log-jam at tight-end and with Anderson providing no versatility from a special-teams standpoint, makes this cut a no-brainer.

5. OL Norman Price

Analysis: By default, 49ers GM Trent Baalke would rather play out the potential of rookies OT John Theus and OG Fahn Cooper before the Southern Mississippi tackle — leaving him as a strong candidate to be cut. Price hasn’t done anything in training camp nor the preseason to make me believe he will be retained.

6. OT Colin Kelly

Analysis: From taking poor angles on his kick-slide in pass-pro (protection) to getting flagged for holding penalties, Kelly is by far one of the weakest tackles on the team. A former CFL player like teammate WR Eric Rogers, Kelly played for the Ottawa Redblacks before inking a contract with the 49ers. However, the 49ers weren’t the only team interested in Kelly’s services as the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings both held private workouts for him back in December.

7. DE B.J. McBryde

Analysis: One of HC Chip Kelly’s players from the Eagles, as McBryde was signed as an undrafted rookie free-agent last year – He came to San Francisco trying to carve his niche among the team’s defensive line. However, that hasn’t panned out, and as a result, I can’t see the 49ers keeping a player who looks to be nothing more than a scout team body.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.