The San Francisco 49ers are making moves in free agency, with their latest roster addition coming in the form of an Indianapolis Colts safety.
After signing Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward to a three-year, $40.5 million deal, it seemed like the team was fairly quiet in terms of signing another piece in the secondary. That obviously isn’t the case, though, as the reports of the 49ers signing former Colts safety George Odum to a three-year deal.
NFL media insider Ian Rapoport was first with the news, sharing on Twitter that he’s coming to Santa Clara, California for a deal worth nearly $11 million.
“#Colts S George Odum is signing with the #49ers for 3 years and $10.95 million, source said,” Rapoport Tweeted on March 18.
Odum isn’t a household name by any means. Odum has made his money on being a fantastic special teams player and was selected as a first-team All-Pro in 2020. But, he’s recently started to catch attention on the national level after breakout seasons in 2020 and 2021 thanks to his play both on special teams and on defense.
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Odum in Indianapolis
Odum joined the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2018, after spending his college career with Central Arkansas. Despite not playing at the FBS level and then going undrafted, Odum actually got his first NFL start early on, coming in for an injured Malik Hooker in November of the 2018 season.
Pro Football Reference shows that after getting his first career pick and starts in 2018, he reverted to his special teams role primarily over the next two seasons. This is where his All-Pro accolade comes in, as the 28-year-old led the NFL in tackles on special teams in 2020 and was given the first-team honor because of it.
2021 saw Odum get more defensive snaps than ever before, as the Colts needed Odum to start seven games. The safety added another interception to his resume alongside two passes defended, although he did give up three touchdowns in coverage last year.
Odum’s role with the 49ers remains to be seen, but if he’s getting over $3 million a season on average, head coach Kyle Shanahan and San Francisco are likely expecting him to lead on special teams and play a considerable amount of snaps on defense as well.
Jaquiski Tartt Leaving 49ers?
With the addition of Odum, many of those in the Niners following brought up what it means for free agent Jaquiski Tartt, who has yet to sign a deal with San Francisco or elsewhere.
But Odum’s presence and $11 million contract doesn’t bode well for Tartt, as NBC Sports reporter Jennifer Lee Chan pointed out on Friday.
“This would indicate that Jaquiski Tartt’s future is likely not with the #49ers,” Chan Tweeted.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Tartt still comes back. As Spotrac shows, Tartt played for just $1.13 million last season, and something around there would likely be affordable enough to pull off.
However, Talonoa Hufanga is also waiting in the wings for his opportunity. After being drafted in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft, Hufanga earned three starts last year. If the 49ers believe he’s taking the strides needed to be a consistent starter, they could try their hand with Hufanga and Odum rather than adding another starting-level safety.