The 49ers on Tuesday announced the signing of 10 players to reserve/future contracts. All 10 players finished the season on San Francisco’s practice squad.
A reserve/future contract doesn’t necessarily work as any kind of guarantee for the signing player. It’s an agreement that the player will be on the team’s initial 90-man roster when the new league year begins.
Players added on reserve/future deals could certainly wind up contending for a roster spot, but that varies by situation.
Here are the 10 players the 49ers signed to reserve/future deals for 2023:
DL Alex Barrett
Barrett is a familiar face. He’s been with the 49ers off-and-on since the 2020 campaign, though mostly as a practice squad player. In 2020 he played in seven games and posted five tackles with a pair of quarterback hits.
OL Alfredo Gutierrez
Shoutout to Gutierrez, who made his professional debut in Week 2 of the 2022 preseason. He joined the 49ers as part of the NFL’s international pathway program, and does not count against the team’s 16-player max for the practice squad.
S Tayler Hawkins
Hawkins signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent following this year’s draft. He spent the entire season on their practice squad. Safety depth could be vital for San Francisco with Jimmie Ward and Tashaun Gipson both slated for free agency.
OL Keith Ismael
Ismael was selected by Washington in the fifth round of the 2020 draft. He played in 18 games with five starts across two seasons with the Commanders. The former college center could be in the early mix for the starting center job.
DB Qwuantrezz Knight
There was some late momentum for Knight to make the 49ers’ final roster, but the 2022 UDFA wound up spending his rookie year on the practice squad. His versatility and athleticism make him a player to keep an eye on as the offseason ramps up.
WR Tay Martin
Martin, a UDFA in 2022 out of Oklahoma State, actually appeared in two games for the 49ers this season. 21 of the 22 snaps he played came on special teams, which may be his route to the roster if he makes it in 2023.
WR Dazz Newsome
The Bears picked Newsome in the sixth round of the 2021 draft, but he didn’t contribute much. He returned six punts and caught two of five targets for 23 yards in three games with Chicago. He’s another WR who’s path to the roster would likely be through special teams.
OL Jason Poe
There may not have been a player more captivating than Poe in camp last year. The 2022 UDFA from Mercer is undersized at 6-1, 300 pounds. However, there was real chatter from camp that he might sneak onto the roster. It wasn’t in the cards for him as a rookie, but the lack of depth on the interior could make him a candidate to once again make noise in the battle for roster spots on the O-line.
LB Curtis Robinson
Robinson was a special teams contributor late in 2021, then suffered a high ankle sprain late in the 2022 preseason and was sidelined for most of the first half of the year. He played 36 special teams snaps this year from Weeks 6-8 and then was let go by the team. The 49ers re-signed Robinson to the practice squad, and now he’ll have another shot to make the team in 2023.
OL Leroy Watson
Watson spent the entire year on the 49ers’ practice squad after joining the team ahead of Week 1. He played tight end at UTSA and converted to offensive line when the Falcons signed him as a UDFA last year. Watson was college teammates with 49ers 2022 fourth-round pick Spencer Burford.