49ers re-signing Jason Verrett would be a colossal mistake

Jason Verrett #2 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jason Verrett #2 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The 49ers are apparently open to the idea of re-signing oft-injured cornerback Jason Verrett heading into 2022, but that wouldn’t be a wise move.

Veteran cornerback Jason Verrett is certainly a player you’d want to root for, especially considering all the adversity he’s had to overcome during his pro career.

After his first relatively injury-free season for a long while closed in 2020, the San Francisco 49ers elected to re-sign him on a one-year team-friendly deal heading into 2021, banking on the hope he could stay healthy once more and provide the kind of Pro Bowl-caliber efforts he showcased the prior season.

Except Verrett tore his ACL in Week 1 and subsequently missed the rest of the year.

Devastating, plain and simple.

True, the Niners scrambled for cornerback options in the wake of Verrett’s injury, and it remains a high-profile need for general manager John Lynch and Co. heading into the offseason. Whether it’s through NFL free agency or the draft, one would expect San Francisco to use considerable resources to upgrade this spot.

Those resources shouldn’t include re-signing Verrett, though.

49ers are open to bringing Jason Verrett back in 2022

One might have concluded the 49ers would wash their hands of the Verrett experiment after what happened last season. They gambled on him staying healthy, and he couldn’t. Even though his injury was essentially heartbreaking for his career.

However, speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine, Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco the Niners would consider retaining Verrett despite the injury:

"We are keeping it open. That position, you can’t have enough of them, and Jason is a really good one, when healthy. His problem has been staying healthy."

Verrett appeared in just six regular-season games between 2016 and 2019, including only two snaps his first year with the Niners in 2019.

If the best predictor for future developments is past behavior, Verrett’s injury history suggests San Francisco would again be wasting its efforts.

49ers can’t gamble on Jason Verrett injury history again

Lynch is right in one regard: Quality cornerbacks are always good to have around, and when healthy, Verrett is certainly a quality option.

But there’s no guarantee he’ll be fully 100 percent after his ACL tear, especially considering Verrett will turn 31 years old this offseason and plays a position where lateral movements are inherently necessary, tough on ACL tears.

Read More: Making the call on each of the 49ers’ pending free agents in 2022

It’s also unknown whether or not Verrett, who won’t have much bargaining room anyway, would want to accept a back-end-of-the-roster kind of free-agent deal anyway, particularly with the 49ers looking to onboard more cornerback talent while also looking to maximize the potential of two of their NFL Draft picks from a year ago, Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoire.

While a healthy Verrett is currently a better option than those two second-year pros, taking the risk on Verrett to assume a starting spot while maintaining his health over two players who need playing time to develop doesn’t sound like a smart transitionary move.

In some cases, it’s simply best to move on, and that’s precisely what the Niners should do in Verrett’s case.

Next. 10 high-profile 49ers draft picks who never panned out. dark