San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams has continued to see his role with the team decreased, and Williams’s role received a drastic nosedive prior to Sunday’s 10-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Frustrated with Williams’s play, the 49ers demoted Williams from return duties and decided to use Anthony Dixon as the kick-off returner and explosive, more-qualified running back LaMichael James as the team’s punt returner.
That put Williams’s future with the 49ers in serious doubt, because he has almost no value outside of returns. He has recorded just 37 receptions in his NFL career. He isn’t a useless wide receiver by any means, but he’s a fringe-roster player. Therefore, it isn’t a surprise to see that NFL insider Adam Caplan is reporting that the San Francisco 49ers will release Kyle Williams today.
The 49ers have one of the NFL’s deepest rosters, and that’s why they’ve had to make so many tough cuts over the course of this season (including training camp cuts). Williams isn’t necessarily a tough cut, though, because he hasn’t been performing up to par lately and has become expendable due to the returns to health of key wide receivers Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree. While only Manningham is currently active, it’s only a matter of time until Crabtree is added to the active roster. Williams seems like a great person, but it’s clear that he deserved to be released; therefore this move comes as absolutely no surprise.