Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

49ers’ Jason Verrett named the most underrated free-agent cornerback by ESPN, PFF

Mar 8, 2021 at 6:33 AM--

Barring any development in the next week or so, the San Francisco 49ers seem content with allowing cornerback Jason Verrett to test free agency. The team is unlikely to finalize any big deals until the final salary-cap number is known and isn't likely to be a significant player at the onset of free agency. Instead, it will likely wait for the dust from the initial frenzy to settle and take a more prudent approach.

Verrett is among several 49ers defensive backs slated for the open market. Richard Sherman, K'Waun Williams, Jaquiski Tartt, and Ahkello Witherspoon will join him. Verrett, though, is the cornerback who Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus feels could be a good value for any interested team.

Those who are interested might have to overlook his injury-plagued history. Verrett has landed on injured reserve in five of his seven NFL seasons but was finally healthy last year.

"Verrett played 803 snaps last season, having played just 67 in total over the previous three seasons and 1,270 in his entire career heading into the year," wrote Monson in a special feature for ESPN. "He had an excellent season, allowing only 8.9 yards per catch and one touchdown all season, earning a 76.1 PFF coverage grade in the process. Verrett posted a coverage grade of 90.9 the last time he was healthy for a full season."

The 29-year-old cornerback finished last season with 60 tackles, two tackles for a loss, two interceptions, and seven passes defensed through 13 games, proving himself to be one of San Francisco's best defenders. Last season's performance did a lot to increase Verrett's value, but that doesn't mean interested teams won't be cautious about signing the oft-injured defender.

"While he didn't quite get back to those (2015) highs last year, he did look impressive given the extent of his injury layoff," added Monson. "That history will likely still scare teams, but he is a high-quality starter if he lasts through the season."

Player representatives can begin negotiating with other teams in one week, with free agency set to kick off two days later, on Wednesday, March 17.

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