The San Francisco 49ers let a productive player walk in free agency this year. It wasn’t that Eric Reid did anything wrong, the 49ers were simply fortunate enough to have spent enough draft picks to find someone to stick in Jaquiski Tartt. When Adrian Colbert locked up the free safety position, the writing was on the wall and Reid’s services were not needed
The 49ers have a great duo with Colbert and Tartt. Behind them after roster cuts, they had rookies D.J. Reed and Marcell Harris. Reed is transitioning to the role from cornerback in college and Harris comes from Florida, fresh off an Achilles rupture. Since cuts, they have placed Harris on injured reserve and re-signed Antone Exum to serve as strong safety depth chart.
Exum brings experience behind Tartt, and they still have the option of bringing back Harris later this season if they want to. Reed looked good in the preseason, but the regular season is a different test entirely. If complete disaster happens, Jimmie Ward can be moved back to safety once he’s healthy.
2017 Safety depth chart
FS: Jimmie Ward, Lorenzo Jerome, Adrian Colbert
SS: Eric Reid, Jaquiski Tartt
2018 Safety depth chart
FS: Adrian Colbert, D.J. Reed
SS: Jaquiski Tartt, Antone Exum
The loss of Reid certainly takes a hit to the depth. All the injuries that happened in 2017, and the 49ers had an answer each time to get through the season. They will not be as fortunate this year. Ward is playing cornerback and Reid is gone. Exum provides some depth for Tartt, but Colbert need to stay healthy while Reed is shown the ropes.
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Are the 49ers better, worse or the same at safety compared to the start of 2017?
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