The San Francisco 49ers have released veteran defensive back/kick returner Allen Rossum.
In lieu of signing another player as they enter their bye week, the 49ers have lifted the roster exemption that applied to rookie receiver Michael Crabtree.
The Niners could have carried 54 men on the roster through the bye week, but the team would have been required to pay them all. Amid rumors that the 49ers are struggling financially, every dollar saved is money in the bank.
Rossum, a vested veteran, becomes a free agent. If the 49ers had waited until next Wednesday or later to cut Rossum, he would have been required to pass through waivers.
A 12-year veteran, Rossum has played for the Eagles, Packers, Falcons, and Steelers.
UPDATE: As a reader points out, Rossum will be entitled to collect the balance of his salary as termination pay, so they really gain nothing by cutting Rossum — if he has not previously exercised his right to collect termination pay. So, basically, the 49ers gained nothing by cutting Rossum now instead of doing it next week.