49ers release former first-round draft pick Robert Nkemdiche amid roster cuts

Less than a month after the 49ers signed defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche to a one-year contract, the team announced the release of the former first-round draft pick on Tuesday.

The 49ers were Nkemdiche’s fourth team in the past five years after being selected 29th in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.

Last season, he played in nine games for the Seattle Seahawks, scoring one tackle against the 49ers in Week 4. Before that, he spent time with the Miami Dolphins in 2019 after sustaining a season-ending ACL tear in December 2018. didn’t play easy in 2020.

The Nkemdiche signing, announced by the 49ers on July 26, was intended to give San Francisco depth behind Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw.

In the 49ers’ preseason 28-21 win over the Green Bay Packers on Friday, Nkemdiche made a standout after riding through the backfield untouched to beat Tyler Goodson for a five-yard loss.

It has always been an uphill task to crack the 49ers’ final roster with their already stacked defenses, and now the 27-year-old gets the chance to join another team as a free agent before the season kicks off.

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Nkemdiche joins veteran cornerback Darqueze Dennard, fullback Josh Hokit, wide receiver KeeSean Johnson and defensive lineman Tomasi Laulile as players cut by the 49ers in a bid to reduce their roster to NFL-mandated by Tuesday’s deadline. limit of 85 players.

Now that the first round of austerity is over, the 49ers must reduce the roster to 80 players by August 23. The final deadline for the selection of 53 players is August 30.

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