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Niners gut special teams in roster cuts

<p>The San Francisco 49ers pared down their roster to the NFL-mandated limit of 53 players by releasing a host of veteran special-teams players.</p>

Santa Clara, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco 49ers pared down their roster to the NFL-mandated limit of 53 players by releasing a host of veteran special-teams players.

Among the casualties for the Niners were wide receiver Kassim Osgood and safeties Bubba Ventrone and C.J. Spillman, core special-teamers from a 2013 unit which was regarded as one of the league's best.

Also released was veteran guard Adam Snyder as well as running back Glenn Winston, offensive tackle Carter Bykowski, linebacker Shayne Skov, tight end Asante Cleveland, long snapper Kevin McDermott, guard Al Netter, offensive tackle Michael Philipp, guard Ryan Seymour, running back Alfonso Smith, defensive tackle Lawrence Okoye, wide receiver Lance Lewis, wide receiver L'Damian Washington, linebacker Chase Thomas, cornerback Darryl Morris and nose tackle Mike Purcell.

The 49ers also placed fullback Will Tukuafu and rookie cornerback Kenneth Acker on injured reserve while star linebacker Aldon Smith was put on the reserve/suspended list, a result of his nine-game punishment for violating both the NFL's substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies.

In July, Smith was sentenced to 11 days in jail and three years' probation on weapons and DUI charges, leading to this most recent suspension.

Smith voluntarily took a leave of absence from the 49ers last year to seek help for a substance abuse problem, missing five games.

He has been one of the NFL's elite pass rushers since being drafted No. 7 overall by the 49ers in 2011. He has 42 sacks in just three seasons, but has had numerous run-ins with the law.

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