49ers Plan To Sign CB Buster Skrine

With longtime slot cornerback K’Waun Williams going down Sunday night, the 49ers plan to sign veteran Buster Skrine, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets.

Skrine has enjoyed a 10-year career, playing with the Browns, Jets and Bears, working mostly as a slot corner. The 49ers are reeling at corner, having seen several key players suffer injuries in recent weeks.

The Ravens auditioned Skrine earlier this month. Otherwise, it has been a quiet 2021 for the veteran inside cover man. Skrine, 32, succeeded Bryce Callahan in the slot for the Bears and has been a regular on defenses since his 2011 rookie season. He is set to join a 49ers coverage corps that lost Jason Verrett for the season and lost Williams to a calf strain in Week 3. The 49ers also played part of Sunday’s game without recently acquired boundary defender Josh Norman. An injury also delayed Emmanuel Moseley‘s season debut by two weeks.

San Francisco has added Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick in recent weeks. The team made the latter a healthy scratch for Week 3, but its latest batch of injuries will likely bump Kirkpatrick back to active duty. Williams, who played with Skrine in 2014 in Cleveland, has been San Francisco’s slot corner since 2017. Rookie Deommodore Lenoir replaced Williams on Sunday.

A former fifth-round pick, Skrine has logged 151 games since arriving in the NFL during the lockout-marred offseason. Skrine’s Browns run ended in 2014, when Kyle Shanahan was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator. Although Skrine was an in-demand free agent in both the 2015 and ’19 offseasons, the Bears cut him shortly before releasing Kyle Fuller amid this year’s salary cap crunch. Skrine graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 92 overall corner last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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