Thursday, May 5, 2022

The 49ers sign one-time Pro Bowl defensive back in free agency

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The San Francisco 49ers are providing continuity on defense with the team’s recent announcement that a veteran cornerback has re-signed.

Player signings or non-signings have been a major talking point in the 49ers’ 2022 offseason, with the futures of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and wide receiver Deebo Samuel still up in the air after the NFL draft.

Meanwhile, the defense was a little less dramatic, but San Francisco made headlines on May 2 when the team announced 30-year-old cornerer Jason Verrett was getting a new one-year contract.

“Welcome back @Jfeeva_2!” the 49ers Tweeted in their first announcement.

Verrett has had an unfortunate series of injuries throughout his career after bursting onto the NFL scene as a first-rounder for the San Diego Chargers in 2014. The former TCU corner has a Pro Bowl nod to his name, but the focus for Verrett is where the point comes on the field.

When he played, he did well. If San Francisco can get a healthy Verrett this year, the 49ers secondary will be in good shape after recent offseason signings.

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After wowing fans in Fort Worth, Texas, Verrett was drafted by the Chargers with the 25th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The expectation was that Verrett would be immediately eligible for an entry-level job, and he was, but the first of many injury woes emerged for the former Horned Frog.

Verrett injured his labrum and only played six games for San Diego, boding well for the future. PFR shows that in eight seasons in the NFL in three years (2014, 2015, 2020), Verrett has only played more than four games in a season.

His 2015 season was the best of his career, bringing down three interceptions and breaking 12 passes to earn his only Pro Bowl honor. Success that year didn’t stave off injuries for the rest of his Los Angeles career as he would only play five games over the next three seasons.

The 49ers risked Verrett and initially failed. In 2019, Verrett played a total of 14 snaps before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. However, San Francisco did not abandon the project, and Verrett returned for the 2020 season, where he played 13 games, had two interceptions and capped opposing QBs to a 76.2 QB rating when targeted.

Unfortunately, the injury blunder returned in 2021 when Verrett tore his ACL in the Week 1 win against the Detroit Lions.

The good thing about Verrett is that the Niners know what he can bring when he can play. Featuring the additions of ex-Kansas City Chiefs corner Charvarius Ward and the fifth-round draft of Samuel Womack.

Athletic reporter David Lombardi pointed out that those two additions mean Verrett’s return is icing on the cake.

“Remember Jason Verrett tore his ACL in week 1 of 2021 so he has had considerable recovery time.” Lombardi tweeted. “If Verrett is ready for Week 1 of 2022, the 49ers can theoretically use Emmanuel Moseley as their nickel replacement to start the season and give rookie Samuel Womack time to develop.”

Lombardi is referring to the departure of nickel freehand corner K’Waun Williams and that Moseley is a natural slot fit. If Verrett gets injured, Womack will be there, as will sophomore Ambry Thomas, who made huge strides by the end of the 2021 season.

“Remember Jason Verrett tore his ACL in week 1 of 2021 so he has had considerable recovery time.” Lombardi tweeted. “If Verrett is ready for Week 1 of 2022, the 49ers can theoretically use Emmanuel Moseley as their nickel replacement to start the season and give rookie Samuel Womack time to develop.”



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