The San Francisco 49ers traded away their top special-teams gunner S L.J. McCray to the rival Seattle Seahawks. In return, the 49ers received an undisclosed draft pick. However, that appears now to be an afterthought. Why? In order for the trade to go through– it was all dependent on McCray first passing his physical with his new team (Seahawks).
That did not happen. As a result, McCray was sent back to the 49ers. The team then had until 1 pm PT to add him to 53-man roster or release/cut him. They chose the latter.
The move makes sense despite McCray providing elite coverage skills as the team’s outside gunner. This new 49ers coaching regime prides themselves on versatility. Aside from special-teams, McCray doesn’t add much on the backend of the team’s defense– which is why the team kept the younger, cheaper, and more versatile alternative DB Marcus Cromartie.
McCray is now a free-agent and will seek work elsewhere in 2016. The same can be said of TE Bruce Miller. The converted fullback to tight-end was given his walking papers right after reports surfaced of his alleged assault case in a hotel.
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) September 5, 2016
Miller’s release paved the way for a roster spot. The team then used that vacancy on DE Taylor Hart. The Oregon product was released by the Philadelphia Eagles and the 49ers quickly picked him up off the waiver wire.
In 2015, Eagles had 6 of 53 players who were Oregon Duck players. LB Kiko Alonso, Brandon Blair, RB Kenjon Barner, Taylor Hart, Huff & Tobin
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) January 17, 2016
At 6-6, 281, Hart has the intangibles that DLC Jerry Azzinaro can work with. He holds the POA (point of attack) well while being able to stack-and-shed. However, his best attribute may be his non-stop motor. It always runs hot.