NFL free agency: Jason Verrett signs one-year contract with 49ers

NFL free agency: Jason Verrett signs one-year contract with 49ers

The 49ers have signed ex-Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett to a one-year $3.6 million contract.

The 49ers were in need of adding competition and experience to their secondary, and as a result went after the veteran corner who spent his first five years in the league with the Chargers. 

Verrett (5-foot-10, 188 pounds) was the 25th overall selection in the 2014 draft and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2015. He has only played in five games in the past three seasons as a result of several injuries.

He most recently tore his Achilles tendon in a conditioning test on the first day of the 2018 offseason program.

The team had high hopes for defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon after his breakout rookie season. The young cornerback did not fare as well in the beginning of his sophomore season playing opposite of veteran Richard Sherman. Verrett will raise the level of competition with the young group. 

Verrett has experience, and prior to his injuries, was matched up against some of the top wide receivers in the league. Again, as with Kwon Alexander’s contract, the 49ers hedged their bets and gave Verrett a one-year ‘prove-it’ deal without much risk. 

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Even with the history of injuries, Verrett saw interest from other teams including the Texans and the Chiefs. He was reportedly going to visit both teams after his meeting with the 49ers, but those meetings never happened. Verrett explained why. 

"The coaching here, the vibe here," Verrett said. "Just the way the coaching staff is. The locker room, the facilities. Everything from top to bottom is a class act organization." 

The 49ers staff also assured Verrett that they brought him in to compete. 

"The opportunity is there for me, wide open," Verrett said. "It's there for me to take it. It's just for me to get back healthy and get back out there on the football field and do what I know I can do. With all the things that I've been through, all you can ask for is the opportunity." 

When Verrett has been healthy, he has been very productive. The 49ers and Verrett alike are hoping he can have a season like he did in 2015 when he was selected to the Pro Bowl. Dealing with all of the injuries hasn't been easy for the cornerback mentally. 

"It's been tough," Verrett said. "It's a smile now, cry later kind of thing for me. There were a lot of dark moments with the injuries but I came out of the tunnel, and I'm ready to get things rolling. 

"My body feels good. I'm on track with the way my Achilles is healing now. Meeting with the doctors here and the staff here to get on the same page and look forward for the season."

The 49ers have also signed defensive back Antone Exum Jr. to a one-year, $895,000 contract. He appeared in 15 games, and started seven in 2018 after injuries to Jaquiski Tartt, Adrian Colbert and Jimmie Ward. He also contributes on special teams. 

49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk showcases entire skillset vs. Steelers


49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk showcases entire skillset vs. Steelers

Things haven't been going great for the 49ers early in their Week 3 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Levi's Stadium, as they turned the ball over four times in the first 18 minutes.

But at least Kyle Juszczyk came to play.

The 49ers fullback had two highlight-reel plays during the first half, the first was a diving catch on a 22-yard pass from Jimmy Garoppolo.

The next time Juszczyk touched the ball, he made new Steeler Minkah Fitzpatrick feel it.

Can your fullback do this? (Considering some teams choose not to carry a fullback in the year 2019, the answer is no.) Regardless, it's good to see Juzszcyk show he can do more than lay the boom when blocking.

[RELATED: First look at T.O.'s 49ers Hall of Fame statue]

The 49ers trailed 6-3 at the half

Terrell Owens wants to give guidance to Antonio Brown amid controversy

Terrell Owens wants to give guidance to Antonio Brown amid controversy

SANTA CLARA — Newly enshrined 49ers Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens is known for being outspoken, and that did not change as he dished on embattled receiver Antonio Brown. 

Owens is friends with Brown and noted how he would like to talk to the former Raiders receiver about his current situation. Owens himself has had a plethora of controversial situations unfold publically during his time in the NFL, and knows his experience could be valuable to Brown moving forward. 

“I would love to talk to him personally,” Owens said. “We all go through life and we are going to make mistakes. They are going to be things that we look back upon. I am sure he will get to that point in his life but he has to do what’s best for himself. I understand to a degree what he’s doing and what’s going on with him.” 

Owens repeatedly reacted emotionally as an NFL wideout and knows how the media machine works. While he was openly supportive of Brown, T.O. explained that if the two receivers do have a conversation it will remain between them. 

“If I share anything with Antonio it will be in private,” Owens said. “Antonio is a good friend of mine it is unfortunate what is going on. I will say the guy is innocent until proven guilty just even with everything that has transpired with him. 

“Things keep coming out and by public opinion, they are automatically going to consider him guilty without due process. Other than that, that’s all I can say. That’s a friend of mine and anything and everything that happens with him I wish him well.” 

[RELATED: AB's release reportedly didn't sit well with many Patriots]

It remains to be seen if the new 49ers Hall of Famer will be able to get through to Brown, but there might not be anyone better qualified than Owens.