49ers free agency: 3 cornerbacks to call with Jason Verrett out

Dre Kirkpatrick #20 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Dre Kirkpatrick #20 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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T.J. Hockenson, Jason Verrett, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers
Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson (88) against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett (2) Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images /

The 49ers have likely lost Jason Verrett for the year because of injury, and the lack of depth likely means these free agents should be on the phone now.

Cornerback was already an area of concern for the San Francisco 49ers entering 2021.

And that was before what appears to be a season-ending ACL tear for the Niners’ top corner, Jason Verrett, who went down late with the injury in the fourth quarter of San Francisco’s Week 1 victory over the Detroit Lions.

It’s a brutal blow, especially for Verrett, who apparently shook his lengthy injury reputation by putting in one of his strongest seasons as a pro a year ago and had worked so hard to come back from being an injury-prone player.

Yes, the Niners still have a veteran in the fray who didn’t play in Week 1, recently signed Josh Norman, while rookies Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir might assume bigger roles alongside fellow cornerback Emmanuel Moseley in the coming weeks.

Yet there’s likely a chance San Francisco targets another veteran free-agent corner to bolster the depth chart, particularly with Thomas struggling in Week 1 and Norman needing to get up to speed.

Some may argue the former 49ers cornerback, Richard Sherman, could be a prime NFL free agency target.

Perhaps a while ago. Not so much now.

Sherman and Norman are both 33 years old, and it’s generally not a good idea to have two starting corners on the wrong side of 30 years old. Plus, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans’ scheme is more of the press-man variety and not the zone-style defense in which Sherman has thrived over the years.

Perhaps it’s a possibility for the Niners, but there are other free-agent options out there San Francisco should pursue, and hopefully ones on the cheap.