S Julian Blackmon To Visit 49ers; Colts Deal Still In Play

MARCH 22: ESPN’s Stephen Holder confirms a deal allowing Blackmon to continue his Colts tenure could still be worked out. For now, though, he notes both player and team (along with outside suitors) are engaged in a “waiting game” until more clarity emerges with respect to the safety market or his asking price.

Several veteran backend producers are still unsigned, which will no doubt limit the extent to which interested parties will be willing to make a lucrative commitment. When the next set of safety dominoes fall, though, Blackmon will no doubt be among those to benefit.

MARCH 21: Julian Blackmon remains one of the top safety options in a crowded free agent market. He has already taken a visit with the Bills, but further interest exists around the league.

Blackmon will meet with the 49ers today, per Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report. He adds that “several suitors” are still around in this case, which comes as no surprise. The 25-year-old could find himself remaining with the Colts in 2024 on a new deal, but outside bidders will no doubt be in place for his services given the nature of his performance last season.

The former third-rounder posted four interceptions, eight pass deflections and 88 tackles in his contract year. Even in an offseason featuring several veteran safeties let go by their respective teams, Blackmon thus entered free agency as one of the top defenders on the market. He would provide a new team with a veteran of 46 career starts, and San Francisco represents a logical landing spot.

The reigning NFC champions were hit hard with injuries on the backend last season. All-Pro Talanoa Hufanga suffered an ACL tear, while George Odum was lost to a biceps injury. San Francisco was forced to rely on rookie Ji’Ayir Brown more than expected as a result, and the team brought in Logan Ryan in December as veteran insurance. The 49ers have extended Odum, and he is one of several options at the position with a special teams background.

While Hufanga and Brown are still on their respective rookie contracts, further moves at the safety spot could help the 49ers deal with a potential repeat of last year’s injury woes. The former will be in line for a lucrative new pact if he can return to health, and the latter flashed potential with three combined regular and postseason interceptions in 2023. Still, bringing in Blackmon would add considerably to the team’s secondary in the short- and long-term future (presuming his strong market results in a multi-year agreement). The 49ers entered Thursday with just under $13MM in cap space.

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