The 49ers have released defensive end Demarcus Dobbs, a league source tells Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). Because the trade deadline has passed, all players are subject to waivers, so Dobbs will have to go unclaimed before he’s free to sign with any team.
Dobbs, who received a $1.431MM RFA tender from the Niners in the offseason, doesn’t see a ton of action for the team on defense, but has played 79 defensive snaps this year, and also contributes on special teams. His release is a little surprising, considering he’s not a minimum salary player.
The move leaves San Francisco with an open roster spot for now, which could suggest that defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey is prepared to come off the injured reserve list. Dorsey was placed on IR with the designation to return prior to Week 1, so he’s eligible to be activated, and has been practicing with the club.
Outside linebacker Aldon Smith is also due back for the Niners soon, with just one game left on his nine-game suspension. There were whispers that Smith’s ban could be reduced by a week or two, but with no announcement on that front yet, it appears that he’ll have to serve the entire penalty.