Proposed 49ers Trade Acquires Patriots Starter After Best NFL Season

New England Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers is being linked to the San Francisco 49ers

Getty New England Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers is being linked to the San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers haven’t made many splashes this offseason, but a new trade proposal has them adding a New England Patriots DB. Jabrill Peppers has is approaching his ninth NFL season, but that kind of experience and reliability is something San Francisco could use.

Bleacher Report writer Maurice Moton thinks Peppers is a fit as a versatile defensive back option. With experience at every position in the secondary, the former Michigan Wolverine could backup or start almost anywhere.

“San Francisco can explore the trade market for a playmaking defensive back, though,” Moton wrote on April 1. “It needs a third safety with Talanoa Hufanga recovering from a torn ACL and Ji’Ayir Brown going into his second season. For veteran insurance, the 49ers could acquire Jabrill Peppers, an athletic defensive back who’s played both safety spots and slot cornerback in seven campaigns.”

The logic is solid. Hufanga was a revelation in 2022, but his ACL tear last year means his future isn’t nearly as certain. Brown also looks promising, but San Francisco did bench him at one point for Logan Ryan.

San Francisco is trying to make the most of their “Super Bowl window,” and providing that kind of depth quality is how teams separate themselves from the rest.

Peppers Takes Talents to Patriots

As a first-round draft pick in the 2017 NFL draft, Peppers joined the Cleveland Browns and was an immediate starter. But Peppers had clear growing pains during his first two seasons, and was eventually used as a trade piece during the Cleveland Browns’ move for WR Odell Beckham Jr.

The New York Giants acquired Peppers in that deal, but he was still waiting to break out. Despite forcing three fumbles in 11 games, a tranverse process fracture cut his season short in 2019. There was plenty of reason for optimism, but it wouldn’t be until 2020 that Peppers properly lived up to his first-round potential.

According to Pro Football Reference, Peppers totaled 11 passes defended, 2.5 sacks and 8 tackles for loss in 2020. He also added an interception and forced fumble for his best NFL season yet.

However, a torn ACL early on the following season cut his season short after 6 games. Peppers became a free agent and joined the Patriots for the 2022 campaign, in which he slowly worked his way back into a starting role.

That setup another comeback in 2023, as Peppers nabbed two INTs, swatted 8 passes and added a sack and a forced fumble.

49ers Update on Hufanga

Speaking of the Hufanga and the 49ers’ secondary, San Francisco recently updated Hufanga’s injury recovery. It sounds as though the former USC Trojan will be back before the end of training camp, according to The Athletic reporter David Lombardi.

“‘The 49ers anticipate Talanoa Hufanga will return from ACL “sometime in training camp’, per Kyle Shanahan, who also sounded optimistic about Hufanga’s ability to return to 100% of his old self,” Lombardi wrote on X on March 26. “SF would still like to add a safety, but they told recent visitor Julian Blackmon that a new addition wouldn’t necessarily be guaranteed a starting spot — general depth is Priority No. 1 with Hufanga coming off injury.”

Now that Blackmon has come and gone without a contract, that opens the door for a trade like the Peppers one proposed by Moton.