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Ex-49ers safety Tashaun Gipson plans to play in 2024, won’t appeal suspension

Jul 8, 2024 at 12:27 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers had not ruled out bringing back Tashaun Gipson, one of their starting safeties from last season. Gipson spent the past two seasons with the Niners, and 2023 marked his 12th year in the NFL. With Talanoa Hufanga returning from a torn ACL and Ji'Ayir Brown entering his second NFL season, there was speculation that San Francisco might bolster the position with a veteran addition.

"[Tashaun Gipson] is a guy that we've always kept in touch with, and we'll continue to," general manager John Lynch said in March.

Gipson remains a free agent, available for any team to sign. However, his stock recently took a hit when he was suspended for six games due to a violation of the league's performance-enhancing substances policy.

Last season, Gipson started 16 regular-season games and all three playoff games, including Super Bowl LVII, for the 49ers. He amassed 74 tackles in those 19 contests and doesn't plan on 2023 being his last season.

"During this offseason I took a supplement one time, which I thought to be completely safe and well within any of the NFL's policies," Gipson said in a statement to ESPN's Adam Schefter. "It was in no way related to performance, training, or gaining an advantage of any kind at any time. I have competed at this level for a long time, and have nothing but respect for the game and the fraternity of players in it."

Gipson hopes to play in 2024, assuming a team comes calling. The fact that the safety will need to sit out six games will weigh heavily on any decision involving the free agent.

"The NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances is clear, and I take full responsibility for anything I put into my body," Gipson continued. "It is with great disappointment that I accept this suspension, and I do so knowing that I have never even attempted to cheat the game. I look forward to returning for my 13th NFL season and helping a team compete for a championship."

San Francisco has seemingly moved on from Gipson, who was a solid contributor over the past two seasons. The team fortified the position by using a fourth-round draft pick on Malik Mustapha out of Wake Forest, and there is speculation that the 49ers could add someone like Justin Simmons before the start of the season.

Gipson's age, combined with his suspension, could jeopardize his chances of playing a 13th season.

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