3 veteran free agents San Francisco 49ers could still target

Ross Cockrell of Carolina Panthers (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Ross Cockrell of Carolina Panthers (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) /
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Deone Bucannon, Giants
Deone Bucannon #29 of the New York Giants (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Safety Deone Bucannon

The 49ers haven’t been immune to going after reclamation projects in NFL free agency. Nose tackle Earl Mitchell was a prime example back in 2017, and he was a serviceable part of San Francisco’s defense for the better part of two seasons.

Former Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants safety Deone Bucannon would be a similar target here.

The former first-round NFL Draft pick from 2014 entered the league with a lot of hype, yes, showing some modest promise during his early run in Arizona. The Cardinals tried moving him around the defense, bouncing him from safety to a coverage linebacker and whatnot. And while he never panned out as a top-impact player, there are still some positive attributes to like.

The Niners have enough coverage linebackers, namely Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw. But adding some coverage help at strong safety would be preferable. While Jaquiski Tartt is pegged as the starter, he’s suffered lengthy injuries in two of the past three years. Tartt’s primary backup, Marcell Harris, is a good run stopper but is a liability in coverage.

Bucannon won’t live up to his first-round pedigree. But as a quality reserve with some versatility, he’d surely help.