San Francisco 49ers

5 San Francisco 49ers Veterans Who Could Be Camp Casualties

Tom SmeatonContributor IIIJuly 31, 2014

5 San Francisco 49ers Veterans Who Could Be Camp Casualties

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Training camp is a time of excitement for football fans everywhere, but several San Francisco 49ers players will be feeling little more than pressure to keep their current jobs.

    Unexpected camp casualties are a part of every team's training camp, especially on a roster with plenty of talent to fit into 53 roster spots. From underperforming rookies to increasingly expensive veterans, there are bound to be a few surprising cuts in this year's camps.

    Veterans are particularly on the hot seat in today's NFL, where the most recent collective bargaining agreement makes cheaper rookies far easier to keep. These aging Niners stars will likely survive throughout most of the preseason, but the final cuts will leave some of these old favorites off the roster.

    So who are fighting for their jobs at the expense of past success? These 49ers vets will surely be looking over their shoulder as practices get underway.

Honorable Mention: Special Teams

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Rather than list these two separately, it makes more sense to summarize these special teams competitors in one slide.

    Wide receiver Kassim Osgood and safety Bubba Ventrone both make their impact almost exclusively on special teams. While these types of players are important, there are only so many slots a team can reserve to keep them.

    James Brady of Niners Nation puts Osgood's odds of making the roster at "greater than 50 percent," but that's far from a guarantee. Similarly, David Fucillo of Niners Nation puts Ventrone and Osgood in direct competition for a roster spot, likely competing with linebacker Blake Costanzo for one or two purely special teams roles.

    By those odds, there's a good chance one of these two players will not make the final cut.

Demarcus Dobbs, Defensive Line

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    Dave Martin/Associated Press

    Versatile defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs was just brought back as a restricted free agent, but his time in San Francisco is far from guaranteed.

    As noted by Spotrac, Dobbs received no guaranteed money in his newest contract. His competition on the line makes that a key note as he fights for a spot on the roster.

    Defensive end Tank Carradine, last year's second-round pick, is back from injury and ready to contribute. Veteran defensive lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie is also in the picture, and he impressed last season while taking snaps away from Dobbs.

    That trend paints a grim picture for Dobbs' roster odds at this early juncture.

Craig Dahl, Safety

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Brought in last season as a free agent, safety Craig Dahl failed to take the starting safety job from 2013 first-round pick Eric Reid. Dahl contributed mostly on special teams while racking up nine tackles on the season.

    Via Bill Williamson of ESPN.com, Dahl is already behind Reid and safety Antoine Bethea on the depth chart. Rookie defensive back Jimmie Ward will likely serve as a reserve safety and nickelback, while safety C.J. Spillman is also expected to contribute on defense and special teams.

    Should special teams ace Bubba Ventrone prove more worthy on that side of the ball, there is now enough depth to show Dahl his walking papers.

Perrish Cox, Cornerback

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Before he returned for the 2013 playoffs, the 49ers had previously released cornerback Perrish Cox outright during the regular season. This year, however, Cox may not even make it that far in San Francisco.

    Cornerback Chris Cook was brought in from Minnesota, while veteran Chris Culliver returns from an injury suffered in 2013. The 49ers also drafted defensive backs Jimmie Ward, Dontae Johnson and Kenneth Acker in 2014 to add to the competition.

    This all leaves Cox in a vulnerable position, where his age may make the 27-year-old most expendable among the bunch. The 49ers have already parted ways with Cox once before, and it wouldn't be an overwhelming surprise if they did so again.

Adam Snyder, Guard

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Now in his second stint with the 49ers, guard Adam Snyder was once a stabilizing presence for a young offensive line.

    The 49ers now possess one of the best and deepest offensive lines in football, which does not bode well for Snyder. The veteran's positional versatility is his greatest asset, but youth across the board should present Snyder with stiff competition.

    Former Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin was acquired as a potential swing tackle and might take some snaps at guard, per Andrew Pentis of 49ers.com. Guard Joe Looney and rookie center Marcus Martin also provide younger, cheaper options than Snyder.

    As starting guard Alex Boone continues to hold out, CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco has noted that Looney is taking first-team snaps, not Snyder. Should that trend continue, Snyder would appear to be the odd man out upon Boone's return.

Brandon Lloyd, Wide Receiver

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Veteran wide receiver Brandon Lloyd was brought on to help the 49ers in the red zone, but further additions at his position have made him expendable.

    Lloyd is not a lock for the roster, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, due to his age, at 33 years old, and lack of financial commitment. Younger receivers such as Quinton Patton and rookie Bruce Ellington—23 and 22, respectively—will be given priority.

    Maiocco's report also mentions wideout Stevie Johnson, who was brought over in an offseason trade with the Buffalo Bills. The report suggests that Johnson is not a given for the final roster either, but the trade compensation and need for depth would make such a scenario highly unlikely.

    Unfortunately for Lloyd, his contract and age make him much easier to part with.

     

    All statistics and accolades according to Pro-Football-Reference.com unless otherwise noted. Tom Smeaton is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and can be found on Twitter by following @ByTomSmeaton.

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