49ers Re-Sign One-Time Pro Bowl Defensive Back in Free Agency

Jason Verrett

Getty Cornerback Jason Verrett of the San Francisco 49ers intercepts a pass.

The San Francisco 49ers are maintaining continuity on the defense with the team’s latest announcement that a veteran cornerback has a new deal.

Re-signing or not re-signing players has been a major talking point of 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 has been a bit less dramatic, but San Francisco made news on May 2 when the team announced that 30-year-old corner Jason Verrett to a new one-year deal.

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

Verrett has had an unfortunate string of injuries over 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 at this point is getting on the field.

When he has played, he’s done well. If San Francisco is able to get a healthy Verrett this year, the 49ers secondary will be in good shape after recent additions in the offseason.

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Verrett’s Time with Chargers, 49ers

After wowing fans in Fort Worth, Texas, Verrett was taken by the Chargers with the 25th overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. The expectation was that Verrett would be in the mix for a starting job right away, and he was, but the first of many injury issues arose for the former Horned Frog.

Verrett injured his labrum and only played six games for San Diego, which was an omen for things to come. PFR shows that over eight seasons in the NFL, Verrett has only played more than four games in a season in three years (2014, 2015, 2020).

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

The 49ers took a chance on Verrett and it initially failed. In 2019, Verrett played 14 total snaps before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. San Francisco didn’t abort the project though, and Verrett returned for the 2020 season where he played 13 games, had two interceptions and limit opposing QBs to a 76.2 QB rating when targeted.

Unfortunately, the injury bug appeared again in 2021, when Verrett tore his ACL in the Week 1 win over the Detroit Lions.

Where Verrett Can Fit

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

The Athletic reporter David Lombardi pointed out that those two additions means Verrett’s return is a cherry on top.

“Remember Jason Verrett tore his ACL in Week 1 of 2021, so he’s 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 referencing the departure of nickel corner K’Waun Williams in free agency, and that Moseley is a natural slot fit. Now, if Verrett gets hurt, Womack is there, as is second-year corner Ambry Thomas who took great strides at the end of the 2021 season.

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