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Hali Tauxe-USA TODAY Sports

Colts re-sign safety Julian Blackmon, who recently visited 49ers

Apr 2, 2024 at 2:07 PM--

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The Indianapolis Colts are re-signing safety Julian Blackmon, who visited with the San Francisco 49ers on March 21. The team reportedly remained interested in the veteran defender, but wasn't eager to sign him to a contract.

San Francisco's All-Pro safety, Talanoa Hufanga, is recovering from a torn ACL sustained on November 19, 2023. The team's other starting safety, Tashaun Gipson, is an unrestricted free agent, while Ji'Ayir Brown, the player who filled in after Hufanga's injury, is entering his second NFL season.

As for Hufanga's recovery, there is optimism that the safety could be ready for Week 1.

"It's always scary coming back from an ACL, but once you come back, in this day and age, it's usually okay," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said last week. "[We] expect to get him some time in training camp, so that should be all right."

Blackmon spent his entire NFL career with the Colts, the team that selected him out of Utah in the third round (No. 85 overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft. He recorded a career-high 88 tackles in 15 starts last season, including five for a loss, adding a quarterback hit, eight passes defensed, and four interceptions, per Pro Football Reference.

Pro Football Focus awarded Blackmon a 68.3 overall grade, 72.6 coverage grade, and 81.1 tackling grade from in 2023. All were career highs. Opposing quarterbacks owned a 57.5 passer rating when targeting the veteran safety.

Blackmon, 25, has recorded 214 tackles, including 12 for a loss, two quarterback hits, a sack, 17 passes defensed, seven interceptions, a touchdown, and two forced fumbles in 50 game appearances (46 starts) throughout his four NFL seasons.

"We kind of feel like we're wrapping up free agency, but there may be one or two more moves. We'll see," 49ers general manager John Lynch said last week. "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 added, "Whether we make an add or just go with what we have right now, we feel good about the position."
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