49ers free agency: 3 dream targets for San Francisco in 2022

Marshon Lattimore #23 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marshon Lattimore #23 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Free Agency Target No. 2: Safety Tyrann Mathieu

It’s hard to envision the 49ers bringing back Jaquiski Tartt in 2022. Then again, it was hard to see them doing so in 2021, but that ended up happening anyway.

While the Niners have a promising rookie strong safety in the folds in Talanoa Hufanga, his straight-line speed might not be enough to warrant full-time starting duties, and San Francisco could easily be looking for another high-performing veteran to take over in the interim for Tartt anyway.

Enter the veteran, Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu.

Granted, it’s hard to see the Chiefs pass up on the opportunity to extend Mathieu, the three-time first-team All-Pro. But with a projected $19 million in cap space for 2022 and a number of other pressing NFL free agency questions ahead, Kansas City might be forced to part ways.

True, Mathieu will turn 30 years old by the time the 2022 season begins. But there’s no questioning his ability to still play at a high level, and he also brings a kind of leadership many of the other young 49ers defensive backs could benefit from.

Considering how much turnover the Niners could experience within their secondary, getting a solid constant in a player like Mathieu would be a steal regardless of the price.