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Lynch on Verrett: He’s a number one corner for us

Will he be ready for training camp?

San Francisco 49ers Training Camp Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

ESPN’s Field Yates provided the contract details for 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett, who signed a one-year deal with the Niners Monday. Verrett qualifies for the veteran salary benefit, so his salary-cap charge will be $895,000 for 2022. We’ll see how healthy Verrett is at this stage, but there’s zero risk in bringing back a player of his talent for under $1 million.

49ers general manager John Lynch joined KNBR’s Murph & Mac show to discuss what Verrett has been through and what he means to the team:

“This guy’s ability and passion for the game, his makeup, his toughness, it’s all to be admired. It hurt our heart. It hurt Jason. He’s a number one corner for us. For it to happen to him yet again was crushing. But he’s a guy you don’t give up on. We’re certainly not going to. It’s a lot to ask for his body to recover again, but if there’s someone that we believe can do it, it’s Jason.

We felt like, number one, he’s earned that opportunity with us. And number two, I think he’s worth giving it to because he’s done this before. You do have to ask yourself at some point if it keeps happening. But we have a 90-man roster, and during the offseason, when you talk about is he worthy of that? Certainly, he is. So we’re going to give it another attempt.”

Verrett’s teammates echo Lynch’s sentiment whenever they speak about him. For example, Deebo Samuel has said Verrett gives him the most trouble when they have 1-on-1s during practice.

The Niners have depth behind him, unlike last year when Verrett went down with a season-ending injury during the first game. Last year, they were forced to sign Josh Norman since the rookies Deommodore Lenoir, and Ambry Thomas weren’t ready to play.

Thomas and Lenoir have another year under their belt. The team drafted a pair of cornerbacks. Plus, you have Emmanuel Moseley and Charvarius Ward, two players who figured to start before Verrett signed.

And while Lynch called Verrett a number one cornerback, Verrett knows a spot won’t be handed to him. He’ll have to prove he has the same movement skills and recovery speed after another torn ACL.

We’re nearly eight months removed from Verrett’s injury. Lynch said, “we’re happy to come to an agreement with Jason and give him that opportunity to rehab under us. And we’ll see where that goes.” There’s no need to rush Verrett back to the field. We’ll keep an eye on if there’s a plan to slow roll Verrett back into the lineup. I don’t see the benefit of putting him out there as if no injury ever occurred once Verrett’s cleared.

If the 49ers expect Verrett to make it through the season, being prudent with him during the summer could pay off.