49ers Veteran WR Calls Out ‘Entitlement’ in Cryptic X Post

49ers veteran free agent Willie Snead

Getty 49ers veteran free agent Willie Snead

By all measures, 49ers free-agent receiver Willie Snead has had a productive NFL career. He has lasted in the league for nine seasons, made 281 catches for a total of 3,445 yards and racked up 16 career touchdowns. Financially, he has done well, too, earning a total of more than $17 million in his career, according to Spotrac.

Not bad for an undrafted free agent out of Ball State.

Snead, though, apparently does not think he is finished in the NFL, even after a season in San Francisco in which he caught just two passes in four games. That comes after a year in which Snead did not make a catch at all, also making four appearances for the 49ers.

He appears to think his lack of production has less to do with talent than to do with the politics of playing time in the NFL, though. In a mysterious and cryptic post on Twitter/X this weekend, Snead said that “entitlement” has kept him from getting on the field lately.

“All I want is to go back to a team that isn’t afraid to let guys compete for a roster spot. These last 3 years been nothing short of entitlement … Competition breedz Champions,” Snead wrote.

49ers Receiving Numbers Dominated by Star Production

Snead has been with the 49ers on veteran minimum contracts the last two seasons, and has been obviously been an afterthought on a depth chart dominated by the team’s top two wideouts, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. They combined for 268 of the 49ers’ 674 receptions in 2022 and 2023, or 39.7% of all catches.

The next tier of 49ers pass-catchers was the non-receivers, with tight end George Kittle and running back Christian McCaffrey—both stars in their own rights—totaling 264 catches in two seasons. That’s another 39.1% of the team’s catches.

Third receiver Jauan Jennings has had 54 catches in the last two seasons, which is 8% of the team’s receptions. Put it all together and that’s almost 88% of all 49ers catches going to those five players, only three of which are receivers.

Snead mentioned, “entitlement,” but did not exactly say to whom he was referring. Aiyuk and Samuel, two of the best in the NFL? Kittle and McCaffrey, also two of the league’s best? Jennings, who only filled in the games with a small number of total catches?

Willie Snead May Have Been Referring to Raiders

Of course, Snead also mentioned the last three years, and he had an eventful 2021 season before he signed on with the 49ers, where he has bounced between the active roster and the practice squad.

He left his original team, the Saints, and signed on with Baltimore for three years. He was only 29 when he joined the Raiders in 2021, but did not last the entire season with them, and asked for his release in October of that season after he received only sparing playing time, playing just 8% of the team’s snaps.

It’s possible there was some resentment of Snead’s treatment in Las Vegas, where former Raiders third-rounder Bryan Edwards and ex-Bills second-rounder Zay Jones (who had been acquired by the Raiders via a trade in 2019) were ahead of him on the depth chart. Perhaps that’s the entitlement in question.

Snead also played for the Panthers in that span.

Hard to say what, exactly, Snead was posting about. It’s also hard to say where his NFL future lies—if, at age 31, he does have an NFL future at all.

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