Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


49ers GM John Lynch: ‘We like our free safety group’

Mar 21, 2019 at 1:09 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers didn't make any moves to improve the safety position in free agency. The draft remains, but the team expressed confidence in last year's group and even brought back defensive back Jimmie Ward, which wasn't necessarily the most popular decision to fans.

General manager John Lynch joined 49ers Live on Thursday afternoon and shared his thoughts on the team's current group of safeties and the decision to bring Ward back.

"We like our free safety group," Lynch said. "I think, first of all, it was big for us to bring back Jimmie Ward. I know that's a hot-button item because he hasn't been able to stay healthy. We aren't blind to that. We understand that.

"There's a lot to like about Jimmie Ward, though, and what he brings. So are we taking a gamble? Yes, but that's accounted for in our contract with him. Jimmie wanted to be here. We wanted to give him that opportunity to come back, so we came to an agreement that worked for both sides.

"Aside from him, Adrian Colbert was a guy who, for whatever reason, didn't carry over that rookie season, and then got hurt. But we felt like he was starting to play like the guy we saw his rookie season that we really thought was going to be our long-term answer at free safety, so he's very much in that conversation.

"I think people forget D.J. Reed, who was a drafted player in the fifth round last year. He's got great versatility. Remember, on game day, we can only dress 53 players. A guy like D.J. Reed, who can play the nickel spot, can play free safety, and also play outside corner, and be a punt and kick returner, he provides a lot of different options. And D.J., we see (him) as a viable option there, as well as a lot of places."

Lynch went on to add Jaquiski Tartt, who can play both safety spots, and Antone Exum as options as well.

"We think we're pretty well-stocked there," he continued. "That's not to say if an opportunity presents itself, that we won't go there, but we feel pretty good about our free safety spot."






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