Jason Verrett

49ers CB Jason Verrett To Miss Preseason

Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa isn’t the only 49er who will miss the 2019 preseason slate. San Francisco cornerback Jason Verrett will also miss this year’s exhibition season with an ankle injury, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters, including Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Shanahan indicated Verrett is dealing with an injury that’s similar to Bosa’s ankle issue. Earlier today, 49ers general manager John Lynch said that while Bosa doesn’t have a high ankle sprain, his injury does have “elements” of a high ankle sprain. Like Bosa, Verrett will sit out the preseason and then be re-evaluated before the regular season gets underway.

Verrett’s injury, of course, is especially concerning given the 28-year-old’s lengthy history of health questions. He’s only played in five total games over the past three seasons, with various injuries — including a torn ACL and a ruptured Achilles — ending his campaigns. Injuries have been such a detriment to Verrett’s career that he actually considered retiring before landing a one-year, $3MM deal with the 49ers this offseason.

Meanwhile, fellow 49ers cornerback K’Waun Williams will also be absent for the preseason after undergoing a knee scope, tweets Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Williams played 615 total snaps for San Francisco in 2018 while serving as the club’s primary slot corner.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Bosa, 49ers, Cowboys, Vikings

49ers fans will have to wait a bit until they see Nick Bosa in game action. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the rookie defensive end was diagnosed with an ankle sprain. The second-overall pick had an MRI after leaving practice earlier today.

Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like the injury will linger into the regular season. Rapoport notes that Bosa might sit out the preseason as the team proceeds cautiously, but it doesn’t sound like his status for Week 1 is in doubt. The 49ers will be counting on the Ohio State product to be an every-down player from the get-go.

Meanwhile, Rapoport also reports (via Twitter) that 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett was diagnosed with a minor ankle sprain following a MRI. The veteran is likely day-to-day.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFC…

  • The Cowboys are eyeing some tight end depth. ESPN’s Todd Archer tweets that the organization auditioned Marcus Lucas today. The 27-year-old has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted out of Missouri in 2014. Dallas cut Rico Gathers last week, but the team could be looking for a fresh body in an attempt to give Jason Witten days off.
  • Cornerback Bene Benwikere‘s one-year, $1MM contract with the Vikings has an $805K base salary, tweets the Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling. The deal also includes a $90K roster bonus and up to $105K in per-game bonuses, although none of the contract is guaranteed.
  • Running back Corey Grant‘s one-year deal with the Packers is worth $895K, tweets ESPN’s Rob Demovsky and Jim Owczarski of the Journal Sentinel. The only guaranteed money comes via a $60K signing bonus, while Grant will have to earn an $805K base salary and ~$30K per-game roster bonuses. His cap charge is around $714K.

West Notes: 49ers, N. Bosa, Wagner, Benson

The 49ers have not had a high draft pick hold out of training camp since the new CBA and its rookie wage scale were instituted in 2011. However, the club’s top two 2019 draft choices, No. 2 overall pick Nick Bosa and No. 36 overall pick Deebo Samuel, have yet to sign their rookie deals. Cam Inman of the Mercury News believes that both players will be under contract by the time camp opens on Friday, but it seems that the club’s history, rather than any specific information on Bosa or Samuel, is the primary reason for that belief.

Now for more from the league’s west divisions:

  • In the same piece linked above, Inman says that new 49ers acquisitions Kwon Alexander and Jason Verrett — along with every other member of the roster — should be cleared for action when camp opens, though San Francisco may ease them back into action. Inman also suggests that the backup QB competition between Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard will be a close one.
  • This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given earlier reports that new Seahawks defensive end Ezekiel Ansah could miss at least the first month of the regular season, but Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes that Ansah is expected to open training camp on the PUP list. It remains to be seen if Ansah will, in fact, miss any regular season action, though Condotta says there should be more clarity on that front this week.
  • Condotta also believes that Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner will get an extension before the season begins, and it could happen as soon as this week.
  • We have taken several looks at the Broncos‘ WR corps over the past week or so, and UDFA Trinity Benson‘s name keeps cropping up. As Mike Klis of 9News.com writes, Benson took reps with the first-team offense Saturday and caught several passes from Joe Flacco. New head coach Vic Fangio said he will continue to put his unproven players on the field with the presumptive starters, and it seems that Benson has acquitted himself nicely thus far. The fact that he served as a kickoff and punt returner in college will only help his cause.

49ers Notes: Verrett, Front Office, Taylor

Jason Verrett has had a long road. Ever since the 2014 first round pick debuted with the Chargers, it’s been clear he has a ton of talent. In 2015 he had a breakout sophomore season and made the Pro Bowl, but unfortunately that’s the only year he’s been able to stay healthy. In his other four years in the league, he’s only played in 11 total games. Most recently, he missed the entire 2018 campaign with a torn Achilles. Verrett said earlier this offseason he was in a “dark place” after his most recent injury and that the contemplated retirement, but the cornerback ended up signing a one-year, $3.6MM deal with the 49ers.

San Francisco is understandably taking it slowly with him, but he appears to be making some progress. Verrett said recently that he’s “on track to be ready for training camp,” per Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports. Verrett has played at an elite level in the past, but it’s unclear what he’ll look like in 2019 after all the injuries. If he can get back to anywhere close to his 2015 self, he’ll be a huge addition for a 49ers secondary that struggled mightily last year.

Here’s more from San Francisco:

  • The 49ers made a historic promotion earlier this week, elevating Salli Clavelle to the role of pro personnel analyst, per Matt Maioccio of NBC Sports. Clavelle is the league’s only woman who holds a full-time scouting job. Maioccio also has updates on a handful of other moves the 49ers made in their scouting department, including hiring Steve Slowik away from Pro Football Focus to be a scouting assistant.
  • The 49ers have receivers Deebo Samuel, Dante Pettis, and Marquise Goodwin all playing on the outside, but they’ve got an interesting battle going on for their starting slot receiver job. In a separate piece, Maioccio writes that “Trent Taylor clearly created separation against Richie James,” for the role, and that Taylor has “created a nice rapport with [Jimmy] Garoppolo.” Taylor, a fifth round pick in 2017, had a promising rookie season but a disappointing 2018. Now fully healthy after back surgery limited him last offseason, it sounds like he could be in for a bounce back year.

NFC West Notes: Goff, Seahawks, 49ers

While the Eagles and Carson Wentz are negotiating an extension that is expected to be finalized before the season, the Rams and Jared Goff have not made similar progress. It is not clear if they have begun re-up talks. But the notion the team is toying with the idea of using the two-time Pro Bowler during his rookie deal and moving in is not rooted in reality, Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The Rams are committed to building a roster around a franchise-level Goff contract, per Bonsignore. Goff stands to make more than $20MM in 2020 on his fifth-year option but is tethered to merely an $8.89MM cap number this season. Sean McVay has not said if the Rams plan to extend Goff this year, mentioning the possibility of a deal being tabled until 2020.

Shifting to another quarterback’s contract, here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Geno Smith landed with a fourth team in four years recently, linking up with the Seahawks. His one-year deal is for the minimum salary, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). He’ll receive just $25K guaranteed on the $895K deal as he competes with Paxton Lynch to serve as Russell Wilson‘s backup. Lynch is making $645K this year. Neither is a lock to be on Seattle’s roster when the regular season begins. Despite these two high picks’ struggles as NFLers, each profiles as a bigger name than the Seahawks have employed behind Russell Wilson over the past two seasons.
  • More Seahawks details: Al Woodsdeal points to the veteran defensive tackle having a slightly better chance to make the 53-man roster. But the 10th-year lineman’s pact is worth slightly less than originally reported, as is often the case. Woods can earn up to $2.25MM, but the base value of this pact is $1.25MM, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. A five-team veteran who played two games with 2011 Seahawks, Woods received $400K guaranteed. The deal will count $2.215MM against Seattle’s cap. This deal is similar to those given to Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen last year. Both made the team, though Johnson was cut midway through the season.
  • Ahkello Witherspoon‘s 2018 season did not go well. The young cornerback graded as, by far, the worst full-time corner in the view of Pro Football Focus. But the 49ers signing Jason Verrett does not mean he will be the starter. Witherspoon will still be the man to beat at right cornerback, Matt Barrows of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Verrett is unlikely to be ready to go until training camp, Barrows adds.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

West Notes: 49ers, Hawks, Broncos, Chiefs

Jason Verrett signed a one-year, $3MM deal with the 49ers this offseason, but the ex-Chargers cornerback says he actually contemplated retirement before landing in San Francisco, per SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Verrett, who was in a “dark place” while deciding on his NFL future, has only played in five total games over the past three seasons, with various injuries — including a torn ACL and a ruptured Achilles — ending his campaigns. The 49ers ranked 26th in defensive DVOA against No. 2 wideouts in 2018, so they can use all they help they can get opposite Richard Sherman. Verrett, an excellent corner when healthy, is expected to compete with Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore for the job.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Fullback Nick Bellore‘s contract with the Seahawks is worth $2.23MM over two years, tweets Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Bellore will receive $600K guaranteed, including a $300K signing bonus and a $300K 2019 base salary guarantee. A linebacker who played primarily on special teams for the first seven years of his NFL career, Bellore converted to the offensive side of the ball last summer. The 30-year-old appeared in 14 games for the Lions in 2018, playing 118 snaps on offense and 238 on special teams. Seattle used a fullback on only 8% of its plays last season.
  • New Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco will take all the first-team reps at organized team activities, head coach Vic Fangio told reporters, including Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). That’s perhaps unsurprising, as Flacco is fully expected to be Denver’s starter despite the club selecting Missouri’s Drew Lock in the second round. Indeed, Flacco’s performance in early Broncos practices dissuaded general manager John Elway from drafting a signal-caller on Day 1 of the draft. Lock, veteran Kevin Hogan, and undrafted free agent Brett Rypien will compete to become Denver’s second and third quarterback.
  • The Seahawks gave significant signing bonuses to several of their undrafted collegiate free agents, as Henderson tweets. Quarterback Taryn Christion, receiver Terry Wright, and cornerbacks Derrek Thomas and Davante Davis each received a $10K bonus. As Henderson notes, though, that level of guarantee doesn’t necessarily ensure a roster spot. In 2018, Seattle gave receiver Ka’Raun White a $14K bonus but cut him after rookie minicamp. Click on Henderson’s tweet to see the full list of the Seahawks’ UDFA signing bonuses.
  • Free agent offensive tackle Dieugot Joseph is meeting with the Chiefs today, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). An undrafted free agent out of Florida International University in 2017, Joseph has spent time with the Bears, Ravens, Vikings, and Jets but has yet to appear in an NFL game.

NFC Notes: Verrett, Peppers, Packers

The 49ers are placing a lot of faith in their training and medical staffs, as Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle observes (Twitter link). The club’s two major offseason acquisitions, Kwon Alexander and Dee Ford, come with medical red flags, as do new cornerback Jason Verrett and the recently re-signed Jimmie Ward. But Verrett could offer the most bang for San Francisco’s buck.

Verrett’s one-year deal carries a cap charge of just $1.5MM and maxes out at just $3MM. As Branch writes in a separate piece, Verrett has been told that the starting cornerback position opposite Richard Sherman is up for grabs, and Verrett, a 2015 Pro Bowler, is determined to make the most of his chance. He said, “[t]he opportunity is there for me. Wide open. It’s just there for me to take. It’s just for me to get back healthy and get back there on the football field and do what I love to do.” Verrett’s primary competition for the job is Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore.

Now for more from the NFC:

  • Eli Manning will not collect his $5MM roster bonus until tomorrow, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv (via Twitter). It had previously been reported that Manning earned his bonus yesterday, all but ensuring that he will remain with the Giants in 2019. But Vacchiano says Manning is still expected to return next season and that he will not be cut within the next 24 hours.
  • Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes that the Giants are very excited about the acquisition of Jabrill Peppers, part of New York’s return in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. Per Schwartz, Big Blue sees Peppers as a classic strong safety, but the club will take full advantage of his versatility. Peppers will not line up in the same position from snap to snap and will be asked to line up deep, up near the line, at slot cornerback, and at nickel linebacker. New York brass has been heavily criticized for the OBJ deal, but if Peppers can live up to his draft pedigree, that will go a long way towards the Giants’ rebuild.
  • Eagles top personnel executive Howie Roseman has made it abundantly clear that he does not value the running back position, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com observes. Roseman has invested neither top dollar nor top draft capital in running backs, and that remains an area of glaring need at the moment. But since Roseman has built a strong offense and a roster that is in win-now mode, and since he has again avoided the free agent market for running backs, one has to think that he will use one of his three picks in the first two rounds of the 2019 draft to add some talent to the offensive backfield.
  • The Packers made a rare foray into the top end of the free agent market this year, and thus far they have dished out free agent contracts with a total value of $184MM (though less than one-third of that figure is guaranteed). But as Pete Dougherty of PackersNews.com notes, Green Bay ranks near the bottom of the league in 2020 salary cap room, and it opted for smaller salary cap hits on its big-ticket FAs this year in exchange for bigger hits down the road. That means that at least a couple of the club’s major signees — Za’Darius SmithPreston SmithAdrian Amos, and Billy Turner — will have to pan out, and GM Brian Gutekunst will have to have a successful draft in order to field a competitive team over the next several seasons, as he will not be able to splurge again next year.

Contract Details: Jackson, Verrett, Roberts, Williams, Paulsen

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

  • Malik Jackson, DT (Eagles): Five years, $50MM, $17MM guaranteed. $9MM signing bonus, $1MM 2019 salary guaranteed. $7.6MM salary in 2020, $4.6MM of which is guaranteed. Base salaries of $9MM, $10MM, and $11MM in 2021-2023. Twitter link via Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.
  • Jason Verrett, CB (49ers): One year, cap charge of $1.5MM. $1.1MM salary of which $600K is guaranteed, plus $400K signing bonus. Verrett “can earn up to $3 million for the season if he is active for all 16 games. It’s $31,250 per game on 53-man roster (up to $500k) and an additional Roster Bonus of $62,500 per game on 46-man game day roster (up to $1 million)”. Twitter links via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.
  • Darryl Roberts, CB (Jets): Re-signed. Three years, $18MM max value, but essentially only a one year deal according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. There’s $6MM in guaranteed money, with another $2MM of his 2020 salary guaranteed for injury only. $5MM salary in 2020, $6.5MM salary in 2021, and zero dead money in either year if they want to cut him.
  • Tyrell Williams, WR (Raiders): Four years, $44MM. There was originally reported to be $22MM in guaranteed money, but that’s apparently not true. There’s only $10MM in guaranteed money in the contract, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Logan Paulsen, TE (Falcons): Re-signed. Paulsen’s one year deal will have a base salary of $930K. Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.

Contract Details: Williams, Webb, Verrett

Here are the latest particulars in recently agreed-upon contracts, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (unless otherwise noted).

49ers To Sign CB Jason Verrett

The 49ers are signing former Chargers’ cornerback Jason Verrett to a one-year, $3.6MM deal, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The former first-round pick has played in just five games over the last three years, but he could be a strong value signing if he stays on the field. 

Verrett missed the entire 2018 campaign after suffering a torn Achilles during a conditioning test last July. The Texans and Chiefs were also said to have had interest in Verrett, but they were also closely looking into his health situation.

Verrett was a Pro Bowler in 2015 and looked primed to establish himself as one of the best young corners in the league. Reportedly, before the latest injury, he looked like his old self in practice, so there’s reason to believe that he’ll make the most of his one-year prove-it deal.

The Niners made major upgrades to their defense this week, signing Kwon Alexander and trading for (and extending) Dee Ford. They also made an offer to cornerback Bradley Roby before he chose to sign with the Texans. They didn’t land Roby, but they got another former first-round pick out of the AFC West in Verrett.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.