49ers Still Have Two Bryantís
June 4 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
As 49ers Paradise anticipated, the 49ers did not release Jr. Bryant on June 1st. Bryant who suffered a career ending injury two seasons ago remains on the 49ers roster, though the team has no intentions of him ever playing again. It is his contract structure that keeps him on the 80-man roster.
The 49ers want to place Bryant on the Physically Unable To Perform list but will have to carry him through training camp to do that. It will mean that the 49ers will have to have one fewer bodies in training camp.
This move is likely because the 49ers can absorb Bryantís salary this season, and thus by keeping him on the roster for an extra season, the team is essentially pro-rating his salary cap figure over three years, instead of the two that could have been accomplished if he was released before this season.
The 49ers are no strangers to miracles, having Garrison Hearst on the field is evidence of that; but they donít expect Bryant to make that type of recovery. Itís quite unfortunate that Bryantís career had to end this way. He started in the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the 49ers, battled through two years of the practice squad until finally seeing the 53-man roster. Being a burn victim, Bryant persevered all his life, and it got him his dream job. Itís just so unfortunate to see it ending this way.