In a move made largely to reduce their roster to the NFL-mandated limit of 80 players, the 49ers released rookie receiver Jared Perry yesterday. Perry was an undrafted free agent out of Missouri that the team signed last April 26th, and was always considered a long shot, at best, to even make the practice squad, but now he'll be waiting by the phone for some other team to call.
At 6'1 and 180 pounds, Perry is significantly slighter in frame than the two other rookie free agents the Niners had signed, Bakari Grant
from UC-Davis and Scott Long
from Louisville. Because the team already has so many options at slot receiver such as Michael Crabtree
, Jason Hill
, Ted Ginn
, Dominique Zeigler
and 6th-round pick Kyle Williams
out of Arizona State, Perry was the most expendable of the long shots. It's doubtful that head coach Mike Singletary will elect to keep more than five wideouts on the 53-man roster, so going to camp with ten bodies there was a bit overkill anyway. There simply won't be enough reps for everyone.
The fact that the Niners felt the need to trim their roster to 80 is probably a good sign that the front office is feeling confident about their chances of signing the rest of their draft picks before the first practice of training camp on August 2. So far only four of their eight rookies have signed and none of them were picked before the sixth round. No one is expecting either of their first rounders, tackle Anthony Davis from Rutgers or Mike Iupati from Idaho to have prolonged contract issues the way Crabtree did last season, but you never know with these things...
Perry accumulated 137 receptions for 1,844 yards and 13 touchdowns over his four-year career for the Tigers, and had his best season in 2009 as a senior, where he had 46 grabs for 696 yards and six scores.