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John Lynch: Jordan Mason’s strong play the reason the 49ers waived Trey Sermon

Sep 1, 2022 at 11:08 AM

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The San Francisco 49ers' initial 53-man roster included five running backs, including last year's third-round pick, Trey Sermon. A day after the deadline to get to 53 players, Sermon was off the team.

San Francisco claimed guard Blake Hance off of waivers. That meant someone had to go. Unfortunately for Sermon, that someone was him. Undrafted rookie Jordan Mason had impressed the Niners and their fans, making Sermon expendable.

"When we kept five halfbacks and a fullback and four tight ends, we knew that wasn't sustainable long-term," general manager John Lynch said on Thursday. "But we felt like the players we had were worthy of that, so we had strength at each of those positions.

"The bottom line, JP Mason just played too well, and we felt like he made our team better. And the hard part of that equation is, on Trey, it's been much-chronicled, his readiness last year. Not that he wasn't ready. He wasn't ready to play like we felt we needed him to last year. To Trey's credit, he was challenged, and he answered the bell in every way this year. So, really proud of Trey for that.

"We got this kid out of Georgia Tech as a backup, and we couldn't deny, at the end of the day, that he had earned a spot on the roster. What JP Mason becomes, I don't know. We're very encouraged, and we think that he's really going to be a good football player for us. He runs in our style. Ultimately, it came down to that."

That doesn't mean Sermon is out of the 49ers' plans. Lynch suggested that the team wants to add the second-year running back to the practice squad, assuming he clears waivers. He may not. After all, there was some trade interest in Sermon, which means someone may claim him.

"We had discussions throughout camp, and I think it speaks to Trey's talents that those were initiated by other teams calling us," Lynch said. "So we'll see where that goes in terms of claims and all that, but I can't tell you how highly we think of the young man, just how he's handled the situation here, the way he went to work, and then the way he handled it right down to the end. So nothing but good things to say about Trey Sermon."

Update: The Philadelphia Eagles claimed Sermon off waivers. The running back won't be joining the 49ers' practice squad.

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