A number of former 49ers players are still trying to find homes in NFL free agency, so let’s go out and rank the five best options for teams needing help.
The NFL is very much a “what have you done for me lately?” kind of venture, and it can be awfully cruel to players whose careers were once thriving not long ago, but for whatever the reasons, haven’t quite been as prolific as of late.
The San Francisco 49ers aren’t unique within the league when it comes to bidding farewell to some high-profile players, watching them go on and join other teams.
Or at the very least, try to find new homes.
Yes, it’s still somewhat early in 2022 NFL free agency with almost two weeks in the books after the negotiations window opened on March 14. But the market hasn’t exactly been overly hot for these former Niners players, some of which suited up recently and others who haven’t worn the red and gold for a little while now.
Let’s take a look at the five most well-known former San Francisco players who are still seeking work on the open market.
Note: All transactions and free-agent statuses are current as of March 25.
Former 49ers player No. 5: Safety Jaquiski Tartt
The 49ers inking former Indianapolis Colts All-Pro safety George Odum doesn’t necessarily spell the end of veteran safety Jaquiski Tartt’s tenure with the team, as Odum is much more of a special teams ace and a spot starter than a full-time defensive replacement.
But it does signify a strong likelihood Tartt will need to look for work elsewhere after spending his entire NFL career up to this point with the Niners.
A problem, though, is the NFL free agency market was diluted with plenty of quality safeties this offseason, meaning Tartt is competing with plenty of others with as good a reputation (if not better) as his own level of play.
This could be good for San Francisco, though, even if Tartt returned on a team-friendly one-year deal last season but might not do so again.
If Tartt doesn’t find a suitor soon, he might opt to return back to the 49ers on yet another cheap deal, hoping the 2023 market is much more favorable to him.