John Lynch on cutting Trey Sermon: Jordan Mason just played too well

The 49ers cut 2021 third-round pick Trey Sermon on Wednesday and the guy that drafted him explained the decision to reporters on Thursday.

General Manager John Lynch said that it was never realistic to think that the 49ers would keep five running backs on the roster for the long term and that the ultimate decision came down to Sermon or undrafted free agent Jordan Mason for the last spot. Lynch noted that Sermon struggled as a rookie, but that he’d improved a great deal since joining the team.

Ultimately, however, the 49ers saw Mason as player who “runs in our style” and performed at a high enough level that it became impossible to cut him.

“The bottom line, JP Mason just played too well, and we felt like he made our team better,” Lynch said, via 49ersWebzone.com. “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.”

Lynch said there were calls from other teams about Sermon during training camp, so he could wind up continuing his career elsewhere as a waiver claim. If not, a return to the 49ers practice squad would be a possibility.