The June 1st Cutdowns
June 2 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
June 1st came and went. The end of the NFLs fiscal year, teams are allowed to release players and have their signing bonus pro-rated against two salary caps instead of one. Over the past few years, this was a day 49ers fans dreaded. It meant the departure of loved ones like Jerry Rice, Ken Norton Jr, Winfred Tubbs, Lee Woodall, Merton Hanks, Tim McDonald and many others. This year things will be slightly different for the team.
The imminent release of the veteran, Pro Bowl lineman Ray Brown is probably the hardest to stomach. Although some believe Brown would be useful in a backup role, he doesn’t appear to want to play in that capacity. Brown was asked to retire on this date, but he’s refused, and his locker already cleared out, Brown has one foot out the door already. He is expected to look for a new suitor as early as today.
Defensive lineman Jr. Bryant is another man the 49ers will part ways with. JB, as he is better known had great success with the 49ers. A truly classy man, who battled back from having most of his body burned as a child, injured his neck two seasons ago, and it does not appear likely that he will ever play football again. Although there was talk that JB would be kept on the roster, possibly because the 49ers could afford to carry him an extra year, and minimize the cap effects for next season, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Finally, Alex Lincoln’s official retirement. The second year player was drafted last season. He never saw action in a NFL game due to a ‘tingly feeling’ in his neck. Lincoln’s retirement from football is truly unfortunate.
The 49ers are bound to make additional moves post-June 1st. Some will come immediately, and some will come as the team pairs down its roster, realizing that they have more talent in some younger, cheaper players than in some older ones. It should also be noted that any player cut on June 1st, will not be officially added to the waiver wire until Monday, because league offices are closed on the weekend. By the same token, teams can not negotiate with players allegedly cut on this date, because it is still considered tampering as the league office has not processed the transaction.