The 49ers wanted the receiver to play a hybrid receiver-tight end role like the one former 49er Delanie Walker – who will face the 49ers on Sunday at Tennessee – had for the team. However, Harper, at least for now, won’t get the chance to develop in San Francisco. Harper, whom Seattle cut as a rookie despite being a fourth-round pick, was cut Thursday by the 49ers. They will likely add a defensive lineman to the 53-man roster.
Harper could end up on the 49ers practice squad if he is not claimed on waivers by Friday. Harper’s release is not a shock. He was never active this season and the 49ers roster is talented.
Meanwhile, Tennessee cleared quarterback Jake Locker for contact and he practiced more Thursday than he did Wednesday. He has missed the past two games with a hip injury. Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to start Sunday, but it is not out of the question that Locker tries to play. On Wednesday, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said the team is preparing for both quarterbacks.