49ers Release Robert Nkemdiche
The 49ers had to trim their roster down to 85 players today. And to do so, they released veteran defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche.
The 49ers signed Nkemdiche right before training camp, and at that time there was some optimism he might make the roster, considering he’s a former first-round pick with talent, plus the 49ers have the best defensive line coach in the NFL — Kris Kocurek.
To be fair, Nkemdiche did seem to improve as training camp progressed, and he made a couple nice plays in the preseason game Friday night against the Green Bay Packers. But frankly, he never had a realistic chance to make the 49ers’ roster — it’s just too talented and deep, especially along the defensive line. It might be deepest D-line in the NFL.
In retrospect, it’s commendable that Nkemdiche accepted the challenge and signed with the 49ers in the first place, given how remote his odds of making the team were. Clearly, he’s confident. And he still has a chance to make another team’s 53-man roster, which probably is why the 49ers released him now and not later. They did him a courtesy, so he can find another team as soon as possible. Perhaps his next team will be impressed by Nkemdiche’s time with the 49ers and his tape in their first preseason game. Perhaps this experience will prove to be a positive one for him. Who knows, perhaps he’ll even find his way back to the 49ers at some point.
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The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.