49ers Make Roster Moves, Release Quarterback and Receiver

GETTY Ajene Harris #27 of the USC Trojans tackles Chris Finke #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the third quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

With an abbreviated roster due to COVID-19, the San Francisco 49ers have to make roster moves, the first of which came Tuesday.

San Francisco officially announced through the team’s website that they had released seven total players, including undrafted free agent signings quarterback Broc Rutter and wide receiver Chris Finke.

Finke spent a total of five years with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, totaling 1,251 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns.

Rutter attended North Central College where he led the Cardinals to a Division III national championship, and was the lone quarterback addition for San Francisco this offseason.

In addition to Rutter and Finke’s releases, the team also waived linebacker Joey Alfieri corner Jermaine Kelly, safety Derrick Kendrid, offensive lineman Ray Smith and defensive lineman Willie Henry Jr.

The cuts leave thirteen total rookies on the 49ers, with five from the 2020 NFL Draft and eight joining as undrafted free agents.

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Rutter’s Interesting History with the 49ers

Rutter won’t be known for his time as a San Francisco player, but one piece of trivia that 49ers fans may want to hold on to is his signing bonus.

Whether one considers it famous or infamous, general manager John Lynch and the 49ers signed Rutter to a $279 signing bonus when he joined the team last spring, which has to be in competition for the smallest signing bonus that wasn’t $0 ever.

According to NFL.com’s Tom Pellisero, Lynch and company had almost $300 left over, and decided to give it to the quarterback rather than just hold it.

“They gave him a peculiar signing bonus of $279,” Pelissero said. “Turns out the original deal included no bonus, but when the 49ers were done signing all their undrafted rookies, they had 279 bucks left over and decided ‘Hey, give it to Rutter. Let him take his family out to dinner. His agent Mike McCartney told me after he direct deposits it, he better frame [the check because] it might be the smallest ever.”

Rutter’s other claim to fame? Setting several Division III records, including most career passing yards with 14,265 in total during his time with North Central College.

Additional Roster Moves

The other designations and moves that San Francisco made were pretty by the books, with five players getting moved to the Active/Physically Unable to Perform List:

  • DL Ronald Blair III
  • WR Shawn Poindexter
  • C Weston Richburg
  • DL Kentavius Street
  • DL Julian Taylor

For anyone not aware, this group of players are actively working but are not yet 100 percent healthy.

Next, the 49ers added two players who are further away from recovery to Active/Non-Football Injury List:

  • DB D.J. Reed Jr.
  • WR Deebo Samuel

These moves were all but expected, especially in the case of Reed and Samuel, who suffered a torn pectoral and a jones fracture respectively.

In many ways, the moves outside of the roster cuts are just a sign that football and San Francisco are on their way back.

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Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.