Ex-Bears Starter Signs With NFC Contender: Report

Tashaun Gipson

Getty Former Bears safety Tashaun Gipson is signing with the 49ers.

Tashaun Gipson is headed to the Bay Area.

The former Chicago Bears starting safety is signing with the San Francisco 49ers, as first reported by NFL insider Adam Schefter. The Niners brought Gipson in for a workout according to the NFL’s August 18 waiver wire, and he must have impressed. With starter Jimmie Ward still recovering from a hamstring injury, San Francisco is looking for depth at the position, and Gipson could provide that if he’s healthy.

A 10-year NFL veteran, Gipson started 28 games for the Bears over the last two seasons, finishing with 113 total tackles (81 solo, one for loss), two fumble recoveries, 10 pass breakups and four interceptions. He started all 16 games for Chicago in 2020, but a nagging hamstring injury limited him to 12 starts last season.

The Bears’ new regime, led by general manager Ryan Poles, elected not to re-sign him, and now, he’ll get a new opportunity with a defense led by DeMeco Ryans.

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Gipson Has Had Impressive Career for UDFA

Gibson, 32, entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Wyoming in 2012, signing with the Cleveland Browns, where he played for four seasons, making the Pro Bowl in 2013. He headed to Jacksonville after that, where he played for three years before spending a lone year with the Houston Texans in 2019.

He landed in the Windy City after that, signing a one-year deal with the Bears in 2020 for just over the league minimum. It proved to be a steal, as Gipson played 1,054 snaps, earning an overall grade of 67.6 from Pro Football Focus. He had 66 tackles, seven pass breakups and two interceptions his first year in a Bears uniform, but his performance fell off a bit last season, partly due to his hamstring issue. Gipson’s overall PFF grade fell to 51.5, and he finished with 47 tackles, three PBUs and two picks.

Over his career to date, the veteran defensive back has tallied 563 total tackles (14 for loss), 27 interceptions, 57 pass breakups and three fumble recoveries. He also has three defensive scores under his belt.

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Gipson Could Be Seeing His Former Team Soon

If he makes San Francisco’s 53-man roster, Gipson will be heading to familiar territory soon. The Bears play the 49ers Week 1 at Soldier Field, so he might have an opportunity to make a few plays against his former team.

When the Bears used their 48th pick in Round 2 of the 2022 NFL draft to snag hard-hitting safety Jaquan Brisker out of Penn State, the writing was on the wall for Gipson. Brisker has been a playmaker for Chicago through training camp and the first preseason game, although he has temporarily been sidelined by a thumb injury. Still, with Brisker and two-time Pro Bowl safety Eddie Jackson holding down the middle of the field, the Bears should be in good shape.

We’ll see if Gipson can carve out a spot for himself in San Francisco, who made it all the way to the NFC Championship last season.

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