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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ John Lynch provides Talanoa Hufanga update, discusses plan at safety

Mar 25, 2024 at 11:52 AM--

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The San Francisco 49ers have been actively exploring options at safety this offseason, both in free agency and during their draft evaluations. A recent report from the San Francisco Chronicle indicated that All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga's starting position is not guaranteed for the upcoming season as he recovers from a torn ACL sustained on November 19, 2023.

During a media session at the NFL owners meetings on Monday, general manager John Lynch shared an update on Hufanga's progress, noting that offseason roster additions could still occur.

"Talanoa is doing really well. That's the great news," Lynch said of his young rehabbing safety. "He's rehabbing extremely well, beating the timeline. Everybody does. But Talanoa is a worker, and he's doing a great job."

After Hufanga's injury, rookie Ji'Ayir Brown stepped into the lineup. Brown, a former Penn State safety, was a third-round draft pick for the 49ers last year.

"We're incredibly high on Ji'Ayir and his prospects for becoming a player at that position that we can really trust, and a playmaker as well," Lynch continued. "So those guys, we feel good about it. Now, do you continue to add? We have George Odum. [Tashaun Gipson] is a guy that we've always kept in touch with, and we'll continue to. And do we want to add? We'll see."

Gipson is a free agent and flirted with retirement last offseason. Lynch didn't dismiss the possibility of the veteran returning to the 49ers for another season and believes he can still perform at a high level.

"We kind of feel like we're wrapping up free agency, but there may be one or two more moves. We'll see," Lynch stated. "But we brought some guys in that we liked their game and were still out there.

"The safety market kind of took a beating. I feel bad for those guys. It took years to get the guys to where they were being compensated, and a bunch of them got cut. And I think that's why some really good players were out there, and you'd be foolish not to take a look. And so that's what we did."

Lynch didn't confirm whether any signings were imminent or if the team might wait until after the draft to strengthen the defensive backfield with a safety addition.

"Whether we make an add or just go with what we have right now, we feel good about the position," Lynch concluded.

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