The San Francisco 49ers have been in the market for depth at defensive back, and according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the NFC juggernaut is expected to sign a veteran safety to bolster the secondary.
“Free agent safety Erik Harris is expected to sign with the #49ers practice squad, source said,” Rapoport posted on X on Monday, November 27. Most recently with the #Falcons, Harris joins SF — which had been looking for a veteran addition.”
Harris may not be the splashy addition 49ers fans were hoping for, but he’s still had productive stints with various teams when given the opportunity in the NFL.
Erik Harris’ NFL Journey Has Been Filled With Adversity
After injuries hindered his early career, Harris found success with the Raiders in 2018 and 2019. He finished the 2019 season with 68 combined tackles (59 solo), 8 pass deflections, 3 interceptions and 2 touchdowns in 16 games and 14 starts.
After spending the bulk of 2020 on the COVID list, Harris signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons in 2021 and earned the starting role as the team’s starting free safety. He finished the season with 64 tackles and 8 passes defensed through 12 starts, before tearing his pectoral muscle in Week 14.
Harris signed another one-year deal with the Falcons in March of 2022, but morphed into more of a special teams ace, filling in as a defensive back when called upon.
He’s been a free agent all of 2023. In his NFL career, Harris has recorded 267 tackles, 28 pass deflections, 5 interceptions and 2 defensive touchdowns.
It’s clear the 49ers believe they have a player they could initially sign to the practice squad, but call upon him at any point when needed. This will be critical with so many unknowns ahead as this team chases a trip to the Super Bowl.
49ers Needed DB Depth
With the recent news safety George Odum reportedly suffered a torn biceps, which jeopardizes his availability for the remainder of the 2023 NFL season, it was no secret the San Francisco brass was seeking depth at safety, especially, as they head into the most important part of the season.
Fellow safety Talanoa Hufanga was already lost for the year due to a torn ACL suffered in the Week 11 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On Monday, November 27, NFL reporter Aaron Wilson tweeted out a list of workouts throughout the league and the 49ers brought in eight players, all defensive backs.
According to Rapoport, Harris was the player who impressed 49ers general manager John Lynch and an official signing should be announced shortly.