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49ers get to 60-player limit; Cutdown separates twins

August 20, 1997

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) _ Twins Sam and Sean Manuel were separated Tuesday by the San Francisco 49ers’ roster cutdown to 60 players.

Sam Manuel, a linebacker, was among 12 players released by the team. Sean Manuel, a tight end, survived to continue his battle with Chad Fann for a final backup spot behind Brent Jones and Greg Clark.

First-year coach Steve Mariucci said splitting up the twins was a tough decision.

``They’re very close,″ Mariucci said. ``You watch them in training camp, they eat lunch together. I mean, they’re like joined at the hip. So that’s not easy, but it’s not a package deal.

``They’re independent guys competing for different jobs and they have different situations and different competitions. We always have to do what’s best for the organization.″

The 49ers drafted the twins, who played at New Mexico State, in the seventh round of the 1996 draft.

Sean Manuel made the roster as a rookie last season and appeared in 11 games, catching three passes for 18 yards before a shoulder injury forced him to miss the last two games of the season.

Sam Manuel was a member of the 49ers practice squad for much of last season. He could be re-signed when the 49ers form the practice squad after the cut to 53 players on Aug. 24.

``They mentioned maybe the practice squad,″ Sean Manuel said. ``Last year, they said they would put him on. This year, they said maybe. Hey, we’re not the favorites. We weren’t his draft picks.″

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