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When the 49ers’ brass said they were intent on keeping as much of the core together as possible, they were not exaggerating. Last week’s flurry of early free agency moves saw the team retain Trent Williams, Kyle Juszczyk, Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley and D.J. Jones. Now, per NFL Network’s Peter Schrager, the 49ers will retain Jaquiski Tartt, too.
Safety Jaquiski Tartt is returning to the 49ers on a 1 year deal, per sources.
— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) March 22, 2021
Tartt was not expected to return to the 49ers because his price was unlikely to be affordable with a tight cap situation. But it seems that the market Tartt found, and one which saw the Minnesota Vikings’ star safety Anthony Harris sign a one-year, $5 million deal, was less than satisfactory.
We have yet to see the numbers on the deal, but a figure in the $4 million range would make sense.
This seems to be a case of San Francisco creating more cap space than was originally expected, Tartt’s market not being what either side had thought, in large part due to his injury history and lack of Pro Bowl recognition/turnover/PBU stats, and a likely recognition on his part that he’d rather stick with a team he likes if he’s going to take a deal he’s not going to be all that happy about, and re-test the market next season, hopefully after a healthier, more productive year with a cap number that rises again.
He’ll be 30 next year, probably the last solid window for him to target a longer-term deal.
Tartt has played just 39 out of a possible 67 games over the past four seasons, but his impact when on the field has been immense, regardless of the limited stats he’s had (4 career interceptions, 17 career pass breakups). His role has been as a reliable coverage safety, knowing when to provide help on deeper patterns, and cutting down on tackles inside the box.
His return means that K’Waun Williams is the only looming free agent starter who hasn’t re-signed, with Richard Sherman expected to depart. It also means that Tartt and Jimmie Ward, who first played together at Davidson High School in Mobile, Alabama, will remain partners in the defensive backfield for another year, and at least their seventh combined since high school. It could also leave the door open for Tarvarius Moore being included in trades, though the 49ers may prefer to retain him as depth.