It was quite the Monday for one San Francisco 49ers defender– going from briefly getting released, only to get re-signed.
The April 11 transaction, however, was labeled a “procedural move” that points to the 49ers saving up on cap space in the future.
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Who Got Released, Then Re-signed
First reported by Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, the 49ers first released veteran defensive tackle Maurice Hurst. But then shortly, re-signed him.
“The 49ers announced a procedural move with the release of DL Maurice Hurst. They immediately re-sign him to the same one-year contract,” Maiocco tweeted.
For Hurst, that same deal Maiocco is referring to is a one-year, $1,187,500 contract per Spotrac. The 26-year-old Hurst is also receiving a base salary of $1.035 million with a $102,500 signing bonus.
Other Insiders Point to Why 49ers Performed the Tactic
The questions began to flood social media on why the 49ers would release a player, only to backpedal and bring him on board.
Here’s what ESPN 49ers reporter Nick Wagoner pointed out in his tweet on Monday:
Meanwhile, David Lombardi of The Athletic is wondering how much exactly the franchise is saving with Hurst. But, Lombardi mentioned there was a financial ceiling that involved the 49ers that led to his theory.
“They’d initially used the vet salary exception to keep hit at $1.048 million. Maybe they found a way to push some money back,” was mentioned in this tweet from the 49ers insider.
The move, though, still makes the incoming fifth-year defender out of the University of Michigan an unrestricted free agent for the 2023 free agency cycle.
Hurst Through the Years
The 6-foot-2, 291-pound Hurst first came to the league as a fifth-rounder to the then-Oakland Raiders — and spent his first two seasons in the Raiders’ final two years in the Bay Area.
Hurst managed to squeeze in 10 starts in his rookie season for the Silver and Black. He went on to produce 4.0 sacks, which still represents a career-best number for him according to Pro Football Reference. He also added two more career-highs that season: 31 total tackles and 26 solo stops.
Hurst, however, would go on to experience just seven total starts in the next two seasons, which includes the Raiders’ first season in Las Vegas. While Hurst produced 3.5 sacks in 2019 and a career-best 4 tackles for a loss, he was limited to four starts. He did, however, get this dream gift for interior defenders: An interception, which occurred versus the Tennessee Titans.
The following season, Hurst started three games and saw action in 10 as part of the Raiders’ defensive line rotation. Hurst only had 0.5 sacks and tallied 27 tackles. But he did deliver 6 QB hits and help force this Drew Brees pick during his final season in the league:
Hurst was eventually waived by the Raiders on April 15, 2021 alongside Arden Key.
Just eight days later, the 49ers signed both Ex-Raiders to one-year deals. Hurst’s first season with the 49ers, though, was an injury-marred one. He got placed on injured reserve on September 1 following an ankle injury. He was then seen in a walking boot on October 22, 2021.
But his resigning now gives S.F. four true defensive tackles alongside Javon Kinlaw, Kevin Givens and newcomer Hassan Ridgeway.