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Report: 49ers sign safety J.J. Wilcox

The move provides some veteran depth as they move Jimmie Ward back to cornerback.

Pat’s Update: Well, so much for that idea:

The San Francisco 49ers waived defensive back Trovon Reed on Monday, and have quickly replaced him in the secondary. The team has signed safety J.J. Wilcox, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Fooch’s update: Per Chris Biderman, the 49ers have been without Chanceller James (ACL), Don Jones (knee), and rookie Marcell Harris (Achilles) due to injuries. All three are expected back for training camp, but there is no word on next week’s mandatory minicamp. This suggests some or all of them won’t be participating.

Wilcox entered the NFL in 2013 as a third round pick of the Dallas Cowboys. He spent four seasons with the Cowboys, rotating between free safety and strong safety. He appeared in 58 games, starting 38 of them. When he hit free agency last year, he signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Shortly before Week 1, the Bucs traded him along with a seventh round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a sixth round pick. He appeared in 12 games with Pittsburgh and had one pass defensed and one interception.

Wilcox brings veteran depth to a safety position that is a bit light in that regard. Jimmie Ward played free safety last year, but is returning to cornerback this year. This move suggests the team wants to focus him there this offseason, maxing his reps at cornerback rather than moving him around this month and in training camp.