10:49am: The 49ers have officially signed Cadet, announcing in a press release that they’ve cut Thomas to make room on the roster. Although the move wasn’t previously reported, it makes some sense, since Cadet and Thomas are both strongest in third-down and receiving roles.
8:40am: After auditioning him on Monday, the 49ers will sign running back Travaris Cadet to their 53-man roster, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The team has yet to officially announce the move, so the corresponding cut isn’t yet known.
Cadet, 26, saw his first significant action for the Saints in 2014, hauling in 38 passes on 51 targets, totaling 296 yards and a touchdown on those receptions. Although he was listed as a running back and generally lined up in the backfield, the Appalachian State product only had 10 carries for 32 yards. After signing with the Patriots in March, Cadet appeared in just one regular season game for the team this year before being cut.
According to Rapoport, Cadet drew interest from three teams, though it’s not clear if the Patriots – who have an opening in their backfield with Dion Lewis out for the season – were one of them. In recent weeks, Cadet has also auditioned for the Colts, Lions, and Jets, so it’s possible one of those clubs renewed its interest.
As for the Niners, they added Shaun Draughn and Pierre Thomas to their roster last week, and those backs saw plenty of action on Sunday, with Kendall Gaskins getting some touches as well. With Carlos Hyde expected to be healthy enough to return to the field soon, the Niners’ backfield is starting to get crowded. Gaskins could be a candidate to return to the practice squad with Cadet coming aboard, but we’ll have to wait and see how San Francisco manages its roster.
Cadet will become the third notable ex-Saints running back to sign with the 49ers this year, with the team also having added Thomas and Reggie Bush.