Jaquiski Tartt enters his fifth season as a 49er as one of the rare holdovers from previous regimes. After an extremely promising 2017 campaign that was cut short by injury, Tartt mostly continued to look like a high calibre NFL safety in 2018. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury sustained in Week 1 vs. the Vikings limited his appearances and would eventually end his season after week 13.
As the 2019 season looms ever closer, playing on the first year of his two year contract extension, Tartt will be looking to put together a full season where he performs at the level he knows he is capable of every snap, wherever he’s lined up.
Experience: 5th season
Tartt has a cap hit of $4,850,000 this season which is a very affordable number for a safety of his calibre. His dead cap hit is $3,000,000.
How he might improve in 2019:
For Tartt, the most critical ability at this stage is availability. We know what he can do when he’s on the field, as both a run defender, zone and man cover player and as a (criminally underused in my opinion) blitzer. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been out on the field enough to show that regularly.
Furthermore, at times last season, he didn’t look to be ready to play at the snap of the ball as he tried to help get the rest of the defense set up, causing a few miscommunications and blown assignments.
This season, if he can stay healthy and ensure he’s locked in at the snap of the ball, we could well see a true breakout season from Tartt. With the defense reportedly looking to be a bit more unpredictable, which suits Tartt’s versatile skillset and smarts perfectly, this season he could finally establish himself right in the top tier of NFL safeties. There is enough to suggest that he has the ability: He could (and arguably should) have had three or four interceptions in less than eight games worth of snaps and his run defence was stellar. Consistency and health are vital.
How he might regress in 2019:
The only regression we may see from Tartt will depend on his health. Another injury and it won’t matter how well Tartt was playing for many fans and likely many in the 49ers’ building.
Odds of making the roster:
As the team’s best strong safety, Tartt is a lock to make the 53-man regular-season roster.