49ers: 5 players who are playing final season with San Francisco

Solomon Thomas #94 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Solomon Thomas #94 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Ahkello Witherspoon, 49ers
Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

No. 4: 49ers Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon

To say fourth-year pro cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon has had an up-and-down career with San Francisco is quite the understatement.

The Niners’ Round 3 2017 NFL Draft selection looked promising enough his rookie year, earning a starting job, regressed his sophomore year, looked sharp again early in 2019, only to see an injury derail his bounce back before losing his starting job multiple times to fellow cornerback Emmanuel Moseley.

No wonder general manager John Lynch said Witherspoon needed to prove himself in 2020.

It’s a contract year for Witherspoon, too, which means he’s playing for his NFL future, not just whether he can re-secure his starting job again.

San Francisco’s secondary as a whole could undergo a lot of changes between now and 2021. Witherspoon, fellow corner Richard Sherman and nickel back K’Waun Williams are all heading towards free agency a year from now, prompting some tough decisions by Lynch and Co.

But while the aging Sherman could be on the outs, too, there’s a good chance the Niners want to retain their Pro Bowl veteran in some capacity.

What that capacity is, however, is up for debate, leading to the next player who could be on the outs next season.