San Francisco 49ers should hide an old friend on the practice squad
After spending his summer with the Philadelphia Eagles, longtime San Francisco 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt is officially a free agent.
Although he did a good job working for the Eagles when he was on the pitch as he only featured in two pre-season games after missing the first pre-season game due to of personal issues, he was eventually released after a good effort against Cleveland. Browns and a not so good performance against the Miami Dolphins. Despite having little depth in the era before Howie Roseman was traded for Chauncy Gardner-Johnson, Tartt was released in the latest version until 53, and he was not offered a spot on the Eagles, nor on the active roster of any team or on the practice squad for that doesn’t count either.
Will any team give Tartt a chance before the end of Week 18? More likely than not, yes, but if John Lynch is wise he won’t allow that to happen. No, with Jimmie Ward set to miss at least the first four weeks of the season, putting Tartt back on the practice squad would bring back a player who isn’t a perfect free safety substitute but has more snaps. DeMeco Ryan’s defense than all but five players currently on the team, so his addition to the defense would be as close to transparent as any practice squad candidate signed in early September.
The San Francisco 49ers showed little interest in Tartt as a free agent
After spending eight seasons with the 49ers, Tartt officially became an unrestricted free agent in March 2022.
Although his 2021 season was not as good as previous ones as he earned a defensive rating of 61.8 from PFF compared to 65.3 for 2020 and 66.4 for 2019, few fans wanted him to be. downright liberated, with some lobbied to bring him back after failing to address the position in free agency or the draft.
Unfortunately, that thought process was not shared by Lynch, who addressed Tartt’s free agency during his post-draft media availability, as transcribed by Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn:
We haven’t spoken to him. We haven’t been there yet. We’ll see. He’s a free agent. We think a lot about Jaquiski, he played a lot of good football for us and we are grateful to him. A talented, talented guy. And he will play in this league and continue to play at a high level.
Fortunately, Kyle Shanahan was a bit more open to bringing Tartt back, telling reporters, “Another guy we know we believe in as a person and everyone knows Tartt played at a high level, and we won’t rule out never someone like that. ”
At the time, the Niners finally backed out of giving Tartt a spot on their 90-man roster, but now that Ward is set to miss a month, maybe more, Shanahan’s comments could prove invaluable to the Samford product. .
Niners depth to be tested in early September
With Ward on IR, the Niners have just three healthy safeties on their 53-man roster: Talanoa Hufanga, the team’s 2021 fifth-round pick from USC who is expected to start with solid safety Tarvarius Moore, a third-round pick. from southern Mississippi from 2018, and Greg Odom, a free agent acquisition from the Indianapolis Colts.
Of the trio, Moore has the most on-court experience, with 1,005 defensive snaps in his three years in San Francisco, but he’s more a free safety than a solid safety and so may not be Ward’s smoothest replacement.
Odom also has good experience on the defensive side of the ball, having played 982 defensive snaps in his four years at Indianapolis. Although closer to Ward in terms of style of play, Odom was signed in part because of his pedigree as a special team All-Pro and has just 10 starts on his resume in four professional seasons.
Discouraged? You don’t have to be; San Francisco has rounded out its practice roster with Tashaun Gipson, Tayler Hawkins and Dontae Johnson, the team’s 2014 fourth-round pick who can play any position on the defensive field. Even if the Niners don’t ultimately sign Tartt to their practice squad, the team should still be able to weather Ward’s injury thanks to the NFL’s new rule that allows practice squad members to be raised three times during the regular season.