Outside linebacker Diyral Briggs passed through waivers this afternoon, but he didn't land on the 49ers practice squad as expected. Instead, he signed a practice-squad deal with the Denver Broncos. Briggs likely felt he had a better opportunity in Denver where there are only three outside linebackers on the active roster. In San Francisco, there are four -- Parys Haralson, Manny Lawson, Ahmad Brooks and Travis LaBoy. All four were active for Monday's game against New Orleans.
The team released Briggs yesterday in order to elevate practice-squad cornerback Tramaine Brock to the active roster. They did that because another cornerback, Phillip Adams, was iffy with a hamstring strain suffered Friday and it was not known until game time whether he would play. Adams practiced in full on Saturday and he played Monday -- his punt-return blunder was one of the key plays -- thus making Brock inactive for the game. That is, it turns out the 49ers never had to make the roster move that has cost them Briggs.
The 49ers held onto Briggs, an undrafted rookie out of Bowling Green in 2009, because they liked his pass-rush potential. After arriving at around 230 pounds last year, he was up to 250 pounds in recent weeks. He also grew more comfortable playing linebacker after playing defensive end in college. Furthermore, two of the team's veteran outside linebackers -- Lawson and LaBoy -- are in the final year of their contracts. Briggs was being viewed as part of a future four-man rotation at the position.
Of course, the 49ers can always reacquire Briggs by signing him off Denver's practice squad. But that would require placing him on the active roster.
-- Matt Barrows