NFL Roster Cuts: 49ers Seemingly Cut Rock Cartwright, Anthony Dixon Has Big Shoes To Fill

It looks like the San Francisco 49ers are going to gamble a little with their special teams coverage units in 2012. That isn't to say it's a huge gamble or anything, as they've got some excellent players. Still, after just trading special teamer Colin Jones to the Carolina Panthers for a seventh round pick, they've apparently told running back and special teams leader Rock Cartwright that he's getting released on Friday.

His release is not confirmed (though some reporters are citing their sources now), but Cartwright did have a revealing Tweet:

Cartwright was pegged as the replacement for Blake Costanzo, who led the 49ers on special teams last season. Costanzo's unit was one of the, if not the best, units in the NFL. When the 49ers didn't pick up Costanzo when he hit free agency, there was a moment of panic. Now there's ... decidedly less panic.

And that's because of Anthony Dixon. He was a late-round pick a couple of years ago and hasn't done much else other than dance a lot and pump everyone up. He's been great in the locker room, but not on the field, leading many to think the crowded backfield would be his undoing. But Dixon has taken this preseason to absolutely step up and make things happen.

He re-dedicated himself to playing the fullback position to add to his value, and he's been doing his best to work hard on special teams. He's got the charisma, but he's still a young guy, and his spot on the roster still is not necessarily safe. If it is and he survives the final cuts, it's likely at the expense of Cartwright. And that's where he should be looking for inspiration: Cartwright.

Cartwright has made a 10-year career on special teams and being a great teammate. For awhile it seemed like Dixon might be too immature, but this could be a turning point for him, and if it is, then that spells great things for the 49ers. As it stands, he's got some big shoes to fill when it actually counts: the regular season.

For more on the San Francisco 49ers, join the discussion over at Niners Nation. You can also check out everything we have to offer at SB Nation's NFL hub.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Bay Area

You must be a member of SB Nation Bay Area to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Bay Area. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Bay Area

You must be a member of SB Nation Bay Area to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Bay Area. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.