The 49ers had to make a roster move Tuesday to get under the 85-man limit by 1 PM PT. So the team released defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, who signed with San Francisco on July 26.

There’s no denying Nkemdiche flashed the talent that made him a first-round pick during training camp and even in the first preseason game. I projected him to make the team over Kerry Hyder, given the two are close, but Nkemdiche has the athletic upside.

That’s viewing football in terms of Madden and ignoring the power of chemistry in a locker room and the value of a veteran leader. Here’s defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans on Hyder last week:

“Kerry does and it’s so great to have Kerry, just first and foremost, the guy that he is, the man that he is off the field. He’s an unbelievable person, unbelievable teammate and leader. And Kerry’s a very, very smart player, so he makes plays that you think he wouldn’t make, he makes those plays just because he’s very smart out there. And the ability of what Kerry has is he can play in, he can play tackle, like he can move up and down the defensive line at any position. And he’s smart enough to where he won’t bust. And he’s the guy who never makes mistakes inside no matter where you put him.

He’s always on it. And he’s always leading that group and bringing guys along with him. A true veteran leader, Kerry Hyder is the epitome of that and we’re excited to have him back. After he left us in ‘20, we’re excited to have him back for his leadership.”