When on the field, Jason Verrett has looked the part of a former first-round NFL draft pick. The problem is, actually being on the field has been few and far between.
The Chargers selected Verrett with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2014 draft out of TCU. Since then, however, he's only played in 25 career games. Verrett missed the entire 2018 season after suffering a torn Achilles while running a conditioning test before training camp. Verrett only played in one game due to a knee injury in 2017 and only four in 2016.
His skills are still worthy of taking a chance on though, and the 49ers did just that by signing him to a one-year, $3.6 million contract this past offseason. But that nearly never happened, as Verrett admitted on Wednesday he contemplated retirement after his injury last year.
"When it happened, I had definitely thought about retiring, for sure," Verrett said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "I just worked so hard coming back from the devastating knee injury that I had experienced. ... It was definitely devastating, real hard to deal with. I was in a dark place for a few months."
.@49ers CB Jason Verrett coming off back-to-back injured seasons tells us a big reason he signed in SF is their training staff & says he actually contemplated retirement after Achilles injury last yr.....— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) May 16, 2019
"I was in dark place for a few months" #49ers
Verrett complimented the 49ers' training staff and said he will "for sure be ready for the season." He's sticking with the team's plan and said he ultimately couldn't give up on himself or football as a whole.
"It's been a tough journey. I ain't gonna lie to you. It's been tough. Some long nights for me. Smile now, cry later type of thing for me," Verrett said. "Knowing what I'm capable of doing and the love I've got for the game, I just couldn't give up on it.
"I'm just excited that the 49ers gave me a chance."
Verrett, 27, was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015. That year he had three interceptions and 12 passes defensed in 14 games for the Chargers.
If he can stay healthy, the 49ers expect Verrett to compete for a job as the starting cornerback opposite Richard Sherman.