Thursday afternoon, the San Francisco 49ers announced they have re-signed safety Darcel McBath. Although McBath had been a restricted free agent entering the offseason, the 49ers did not tender him a contract. This allowed him to sign with any other team, much like what happened with wide receiver Marlon Moore. McBath received no sufficient offers, and will return on a one-year deal.
McBath plays safety, but his primary role in 2012 was special teams. After Demarcus Dobbs was placed on injured reserve last season, McBath led the team in special teams snaps. He finished the season with 307 special teams snaps (68.99% of available snaps) and 35 defensive snaps (3.3% of available snaps). He finished the regular season with eight tackles, and added one more in the playoffs.
McBath will likely get a chance to compete at the safety position, but one has to think he is not exactly at the top of the depth chart. McBath was a one-time second round draft pick of the Broncos, but if the 49ers had bigger plans for him, I have to think he would have signed sooner or potentially been tendered. It is possible he could still earn a greater defensive role, but for now I expect him to once again focus primarily on special teams.