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San Francisco 49ers 53-Player Roster Set, Excludes Josh Johnson and Rock Cartwright: Fan’s Take

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Prior to finalizing the San Francisco 49ers' 53-player roster, there were quite a few decisions that needed to be made. Was the team going to keep four quarterbacks? Would the team keep versatile Demarcus Dobbs as their third tight end? What will be the fate of third-year running back Anthony Dixon? Will the team go with three outside linebackers once again?

After all of the cuts made on Friday, the team now knows the answer to all of these questions. That being said, the team's roster may still change in the future depending on which cut players grab the 49ers attention.

In what may be seen as the biggest surprise on offense, the team decided to keep the same quarterback depth chart from last season by having Scott Tolzien as the No. 3 option over the more-experienced Josh Johnson. With both players playing well during the preseason, the 49ers needed to decide who would be the next backup behind starter Alex Smith and No. 2 quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

While there was talk of the team potentially keeping all four quarterbacks, Johnson's salary plus needs at other positions likely affected the team's plans for keeping the player who first played for coach Jim Harbaugh at the University of San Diego. Signing a two-year, $2.115 million contract this offseason, Johnson will only receive the $350,000 signing bonus, while Tolzien will make only $465,000.

Other major moves on offense included the release of veteran special-teams contributor Rock Cartwright, who essentially lost his spot to a good showing by Anthony Dixon, and the decision to keep undrafted rookie Garrett Celek as the No. 3 tight end over Konrad Reuland, a member of the team's practice squad last season.

As for defense, the 49ers opted to stick with three outside linebackers like last season. Eric Bakhtiari, Ikaika Alama-Francis, Michael Wilhoite, and seventh-round draft pick Cam Johnson were all in the running for a spot, but the team ultimately stuck with Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, and Parys Haralson at the position.

The 49ers also made one trade to reach the roster limit by trading special-teams contributor Colin Jones to the Carolina Panthers for an undisclosed draft pick. A sixth-round pick last season, the departure of Jones and the release of Cartwright could affect the team's coverage units, which was a huge part to the team's success during the 2011-12 season.

Moving forward, the 49ers' special teams coverage and decisions at certain positions will be tested. The team will also need to start adding players to their practice squad. Likely candidates to add include Wilhoite, Nathan Palmer, Chris Owusu, Mike Person, and Michael Thomas.

In the end, these are the 22 players moved to reach the 53-player roster limit: OLB Ikaika Alama-Francis, OLB Eric Bakhtiari, RB Rock Cartwright, G/T Derek Hall, ILB Joe Holland, DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, OLB Cam Johnson, QB Josh Johnson, S Colin Jones (traded), DT Matthew Masifilo, CB Anthony Mosley, TE Kyle Nelson, G/T Al Netter, WR Chris Owusu, WR Nathan Palmer, T Mike Person, TE Konrad Reuland, LB Kenny Rowe, WR Brett Swain, S Michael Thomas, T Kenny Wiggins, LB Michael Wilhoite.


49ers release Josh Johnson, Tolzien wins No. 3 QB job, CSN Bay Area

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Austin Chang is a lifelong football fan, San Francisco 49ers supporter, and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow this contributor on Google+ and Twitter @_austinchang.

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