No. 2: Tashaun Gipson has to be threatened by 49ers drafting Ji’Ayir Brown
It’s crazy to think that a street free agent signed by the Niners late in training camp in 2022, Tashaun Gipson, pushed out San Francisco’s longest-tenured player, Jimmie Ward, from his starting free safety job.
But that’s what happened. And Ward departed via free agency, too, leaving Gipson to return as the presumed starter this season after re-signing on a one-year deal.
Now, Gipson’s job is in danger.
The 49ers’ top pick of this year’s draft, former Penn State safety Ji’Ayir Brown, is a lot like Ward — capable of playing all over the secondary and someone whom the Niners may ask to occupy different roles within the defensive backfield depending on the biggest need.
Gipson isn’t the long-term answer, and he knows it. Brown likely is.
If Brown winds up excelling during training camp, it’s very possible Gipson could be shown the door.