49ers liked Brooks' potential, to a point

The 49ers released Ahmad Brooks less than three months after snapping up the linebacker off waivers from the Bengals. The move made room on the 53-man roster for receiver Chris Hannon, signed from the practice squad.

The 49ers loved Brooks' potential coming out of college. Like the Bengals, they had a hard time converting that potential into value on the field. Coaches considered a position change. They hoped to find a role that suited Brooks.

San Francisco could conceivably bring back Brooks and continue attempts to develop him. But the 49ers' decision to release Brooks suggests they weren't particularly optimistic about his development. Manny Lawson's recent emergence also changes the situation at linebacker.

Hannon, meanwhile, gives the 49ers needed depth at receiver. The 49ers listed Josh Morgan and Arnaz Battle as questionable on the injury report. They listed fellow receiver Jason Hill as probable. Bryant Johnson is finally healthy after battling a hamstring injury much of the season.