ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported former Baltimore Ravens safety Tony Jefferson is set to visit the San Francisco 49ers this week for a workout and a physical. Jefferson hasn’t played in the NFL since he went down with a knee injury in Week 5 of 2019 but is expected to be fully recovered.
Assuming Jefferson is at 100%, it’s tough to predict what he has left in the tank. Jefferson just turned 29 in January and was on his way to a strong season before going down in 2019. He had four pass breakups on seven targets and generated pressure as a blitzer on a small sample size. His fit in the Niners defense is perfect, especially if DeMeco Ryans plans on using more than five defensive backs on the field.
Trent Williams took a year off and didn’t miss a beat. He’s also a unicorn, though. That’s going to happen to dozens of college prospects who opted out of the 2020 season, but they’re not 29 and coming off a knee injury.
San Francisco seems compelled to stack their team with veterans this offseason, which tells me they’re all but bracing for a rookie quarterback as the starter. It also signals that the 49ers want to do what they can to keep the players who make mental mistakes off the field. We’ve seen that the most in 2020 as a handful of practice squad players and other players who had no business seeing the field for a competitive team did so due to excessive injuries.
If Jefferson passes his physical, I’d suspect he’s added to the roster sooner than later.