The 32-year-old signed last week, providing the team with an experienced option on the backend – something which was deemed necessary given the uncertainty surrounding starter Jimmie Ward. The latter, it has seen been learned, will likely miss at least the first month of the regular season as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
That makes the Gipson release somewhat surprising, and leaves the 49ers in the same situation they were in before their preseason finale at safety. Gipson could have been a starter, given his extensive experience with the Browns, Jaguars, Texans and, most recently, Bears. His struggles in pass coverage likely contributed to his lengthy stretch as a free agent, however.
San Francisco has Tarvarius Moore and George Odum as internal options to replace Ward as a starter alongside 2021 fifth-rounder Talanoa Hufanga. They will also have some added flexibility from a financial standpoint after re-working Jimmy Garoppolo‘s contract if they wish to add another free agent. One option could be Anthony Harris, who was let go earlier today by the Eagles.
Gipson, meanwhile, will join Harris in looking for a new landing spot – either on San Francisco’s practice squad or a 53-man roster elsewhere – in the days leading up to the regular season.