49ers news: 2021 NFL free agency tracker with updates, analysis

Trent Williams #71 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Trent Williams #71 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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D.K. Metcalf, Ahkello Witherspoon, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf (14) against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (23) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Ahkello Witherspoon signs with Seahawks

There’s been no shortage of players going back and forth between the 49ers and their NFC West division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks.

In 2018, cornerback Richard Sherman made the change, coming to the Niners after a Hall of Fame-caliber career with Seattle. Then last year, San Francisco parted ways with a then-injured defensive back, D.J. Reed, only to see him become a quality player within the Seahawks secondary.

Now, according to Ian Rapoport, the 49ers’ 2017 third-round NFL Draft choice, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, will be following Reed’s footsteps to Seattle:

Witherspoon had an up-and-down career with the Niners, earning a starting role his rookie season before regressing significantly in 2018, only to recapture the starting job again in 2019. Yet injuries forced him out of the starting lineup after a strong start that year, and he subsequently lost his starting job late in the regular season and in the playoffs to Emmanuel Moseley.

A strong finish in the wake of San Francisco’s numerous injuries within the defensive backfield in 2020 suggested he might be a low-cost re-sign target for the 49ers to round out their cornerbacking depth.

Although now one could figure Witherspoon wasn’t a high-profile target to bring back on the cheap.

If anything, Witherspoon will be familiar with a similar defense, as Seattle operates a nearly identical Cover 3 scheme.