This week is “long shots to make the roster” week. On Monday, we went over the athletic tight end, Chase Harrell. Today, we’re going to talk about San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett. Verrett played four snaps in 2019. He was targeted once. On that play, Verrett looked like a player that hadn’t stepped onto the field in a couple of seasons. After giving up a touchdown, Verrett wouldn’t return to the lineup, and that paved the way for Emmanuel Moseley. Verrett has been banged up his entire career. Since 2014, he’s played “starter” snaps just once. Last year was his best opportunity to hold onto a starting spot, but it was evident Verrett’s body wasn’t ready to play.
Verrett missed the preseason with an ankle injury. He tore his Achilles in 2018 during the first day of camp. Several injuries have limited Verrett to 26 games in seven seasons now. Here we are, entering Year 8, and Verrett still has an opportunity to make the roster. It’s no secret that the front office values athleticism, and that’s why Verrett was brought back on a one-year deal. My guess is John Lynch wants to give Verrett one last chance. Why? Because, at his peak, Verrett is as talented as it gets for a cornerback. That peak could be long gone, though.
Weight: 188 pounds
Age: 29 (birthday was on June 18)
Experience: Six accrued seasons
The 49ers brought Verrett back on a risk-free contract. It’s a one-year deal worth $910,000. Verrett will receive a $127,500 roster bonus if he makes the team. If the 49ers do release the cornerback, they’ll only have $10,000 in dead money. With the roster bonus and a prorated bonus of $10,000, Verrett’s guarantees come to $137,500.
Odds on making the roster in 2020
There are no expectations for Verrett in 2020 for the 49ers. I don’t think anyone believes the 49ers are “set” at cornerback, especially beyond this year, but Verrett has to not only prove he can hold up. Let’s say he is healthy. Can Verrett still cover? He must have had Robert Saleh’s confidence because when Ahkello Witherspoon went down, it was Verrett, not Moseley that went in the game.
For Verrett to make the roster, he’ll need to be better than whoever the fifth cornerback is. Richard Sherman, Moseley, Ahkello Witherspoon, and K’Waun Williams are making the roster. With D.J. Reed likely gone for the season, that last roster spot is open. Verrett has to beat out Jamar Taylor, Tim Harris, and Dontae Johnson. That doesn’t seem like a tall order, but Lynch is also high on Harris. Verrett’s ideal scenario would be to make the roster and become a standout on special teams while eventually finding a role on defense. I’d liken Verrett’s odds of making the roster to a player like Chris Finke or Travis Benjamin. Can it happen? Sure. Will it? Doubtful.