49ers free agents: 5 players who won’t be back in 2022

Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /
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Jaquiski Tartt, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers strong safety Jaquiski Tartt (3) Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: 49ers Safety Jaquiski Tartt

In some ways, strong safety Jaquiski Tartt’s situation compares to that of both Jason Verrett and D.J. Jones, a quality player who makes the 49ers defense much better when he’s on the field, except for the fact he’s had trouble staying healthy over the years.

2021 hasn’t been too different. Tartt dealt with a turf-toe injury early in the year, one suffered late in 2020, then missed an additional three games with a bone bruise to his knee.

Also like Jones and Verrett, the Niners brought Tartt back on a cheap one-year deal, putting off the immediate need to find a fill-in replacement capable of starting right away.

Related Story: 49ers must give Talanoa Hufanga a chance to shine

The hope, however, is fifth-round rookie safety Talanoa Hufanga, who emerged as Tartt’s immediate backup when he was out, can take over those starting duties in 2022 and offer up the same kind of playmaking skills he flashed in college without the worries of being an inexperienced defensive back.

And without the injury concerns, too.

While Hufanga has had moments where he’s looked like a rookie, the energy and tenacity brought to the defense hasn’t gone unnoticed. That alone might prompt San Francisco to let Tartt walk this offseason. Paired with Tartt’s injury history, it’s probably best and more beneficial to focus on Hufanga’s long-term development instead.