49ers depth chart: 4 defensive veterans on the roster bubble

Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Ahkello Witherspoon, 49ers
Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /

No. 1: 49ers Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon

Unlike Kentavius Street, Marcell Harris and Azeez Al-Shaair, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon seemed on track to be a regular starter for San Francisco for the long run. Certainly during Witherspoon’s rookie year after being selected in Round 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft.

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But that was before Witherspoon suffered a serious regression in year two. Early in 2019, Witherspoon appeared to regain his form before suffering an elongated foot sprain, which opened up the door for fellow cornerback Emmanuel Moseley to assume a more prominent role.

Witherspoon subsequently lost his starting job twice more during the season, once in Week 17 against the Seattle Seahawks and then again in the divisional round of the playoffs against the Minnesota Vikings.

Entering training camp, signs point to Moseley being the one to start at cornerback, while Witherspoon is at best looking to compete for first-team reps. The other option would be as a primary backup, while there’s a chance he winds up being on the bubble altogether.

Granted, San Francisco doesn’t have a ton of experienced cornerback depth behind Moseley and Richard Sherman. But if another player like Dontae Johnson or the rookie, DeMarkus Acy, outshines Witherspoon in camp, the fourth-year pro could find himself a part of roster cuts.

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Especially considering Witherspoon would cost only $243,393 in dead money against over $2.13 million in cap savings.