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49ers free agency, would you rather edition: Sign a CB or a pass rusher?

Would San Francisco let Jason Verrett walk, sign a pass rusher to replace Dee Ford, and draft a cornerback?

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

With the NFL beginning free agency in a week, teams around the league will face difficult decisions as the salary cap figures to be under $183 million. That could mean more one-year deals than ever, not as many “mega” deals on Day 1 of free agency, and some players leaving that you would have otherwise retained.

Today, let’s play a “would you rather” game. The question is, would you rather draft a cornerback or two in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft, let Jason Verrett walk, and use that money on a pass rusher during free agency? The alternative is re-signing Verrett and using your draft picks on pass rushers.

We haven’t seen a season from a 49ers cornerback like Jason Verrett had in 2020 in a long time. Sports Info Solutions said Verrett’s 2020 season saved five more points than Richard Sherman’s season in 2019. Verrett also did so in two fewer games and didn’t have a god-tier pass rush in front of him. So while Sherman was a second-team All-Pro, I’d say Verrett was more valuable in 2020 than Sherm in ‘19 based on what they were asked to do and how effective they did it.

Will we get another 13-game season from Verrett in 2021, or ever again? That’s the risk you run. On the field, Verrett was superb in every facet. You must factor in his injury history and age, however. With how things have gone for the 49ers if they let Verrett walk, he’s guaranteed to play 16 games over the next three years and become an All-Pro.

Let’s say Verrett’s 2021 valuation is somewhere between $8-$11 million. That’s not getting you the Yannick Ngakoue’s or Trey Hendrickson’s, but it could mean you’re in the running for the Carl Lawson’s or Haason Reddick’s of the world — two players who would be ideal fits for San Francisco.

Lawson and Reddick are both 26-years-old, and coming off productive seasons. The thought process of adding them and letting Verrett walk is simple. It follows what the Niners did leading up to the 2019 season: Our defensive line will feature four players that you cannot block, and you won’t have the time to take advantage of any potential weak links in our secondary.

This time around, you’re relying on an unknown. With Verrett, you have a borderline All-Pro talent. Without Verrett, you’re looking at Emmanuel Moseley as a potential starter with a rookie. Whether it’s a cornerback at the top of the draft like South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn or a player added in the middle of the draft, there will be question marks and adjustment periods. The top cornerbacks coming out of the draft each year struggle. It’s inevitable and something that you have to plan for.

These arguments can go either way, so I’m curious where fans stand on this debate.

Poll

Would you rather sign Verrett or let him walk and use the $$ to sign a pass rusher?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Sign Verrett and draft a pass-rusher
    (631 votes)
  • 43%
    Let Verrett walk, sign a pass rusher, draft a CB
    (480 votes)
1111 votes total Vote Now