The 49ers just released their longest-tenured player.
On Wednesday, they cut veteran long-snapper Kyle Nelson after a terrible game against the New York Giants. Nelson’s snaps were consistently off target -- a couple times they bounced off the turf. And just like that, he’s a goner.
“We felt (cutting Nelson) was inevitable after the game,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday. “It’s always difficult because of what Kyle has meant to the organization and how good of a guy he is and how good of a player he has been. And it doesn’t mean he can’t be one going forward. But it’s always hard with the personal relationship we’ve had with him. He knew the deal. It was just a tough game for him. Usually with something like that, you do have to move on and give someone else an opportunity, but Kyle handled it great. I wish him the best. I don’t think this league has seen the past of him.”
Shanahan said Nelson’s long-snapping issues had started in practice and were not an isolated incident.
“Kyle hasn’t been playing as well as he had in the past. It was trending a little bit that way. When you see things trending that way, you try to make a decision before it hurts you. I think you guys saw what happened on Sunday. Fortunately, we were able to win the game. Just have to make sure that doesn’t happen again. It doesn’t mean he won’t get out of (this slump) -- I actually believe he will. But it’s something you just can’t risk. We had been sticking with it, but I think that game was the writing on the wall. We had to make the tough decision and move on for now.”