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49ers 90-in-90: Safety Antone Exum

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Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today is safety Antone Exum

One year ago, I didn’t even know the San Francisco 49ers had Antone Exum on the squad. I can’t make that mistake this year, especially after when he did this in Week 4.

Ok, that play is pretty awesome. Exum finished the season with a 65.3 Pro Football Focus grade that while not setting the world on fire, is respectable for someone who’s been on and off teams as a backup.

In fact, if anything Exum has shown he is a solid backup for the 49ers. He finished with 40 tackles along with seven pass breakups. When he comes on the field he’s not going to be on an island, but he certainly can hold his own. Given the 49ers have their own safety issues, they would do well to keep him on the roster for this reason. He just needs to stay healthy. 2018 was his lengthiest season to date with appearances in 15 games. He’s never done that in his four years in the league. If he can stay healthy, the 49ers have some great depth.

Basic info

Age: 28
Experience: 2 accrued seasons
Height: 6’0
Weight: 213 lbs

Cap Status

He re-signed with the team in for a one-year deal. His cap hit for 2019 is $735,000.

What to expect in 2018

Exum has great depth as a safety and also can do some special teams as that’s where he split his time last year. He’ll some add competition during training camp with a group of safeties that desperately need it. Tarvarius Moore has returned to his previous position while Jimmie Ward is nursing a broken collarbone. Exum has a chance to really take things to the next level.

That’s not to say he will at this point, but he really went leaps and bounds past what I expected in 2018.

Odds of making the roster

Exum was signed due to disaster with injuries to the safeties in 2017 and did enough for the 49ers to bring him back going into training camp for 2018. He was released and then brought back in the span of two days before Week 1 began and filled in admirably Sticking with the team until going on IR for Week 16.

Exum provides excellent special teams value and safety depth. A year ago I said he wasn’t making the roster. Now I think he might be the last safety kept. Is he going to be the best safety on the roster? No. But he’s able to come in and hold down the fort in case of disaster which is really all you can ask for.

I say Exum is a strong bubble to make the roster and only gets cut if the 49ers want to go with the younger talent.