The final chapter of 49ers safety Tashaun Gipson's NFL career reportedly has not been written.
The Athletic's Matt Barrows reported Thursday, citing sources, that Gipson desires to play next season and will hit the open market when NFL free agency begins March 15.
49ers general manager John Lynch recently commented on Gipson's future in the league.
“I think he wants to play, and we’d like to have him back," Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area's Jennifer Lee Chan at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last week.
The 49ers signed Gipson in August, shortly after safety Jimmie Ward went down with a hamstring injury. When Ward returned in Week 5, Gipson was playing so well alongside safety Talanoa Hufanga that the 49ers opted to slot Ward to nickel back and to keep Gipson at safety.
The 32-year-old logged 61 tackles, eight passes defensed and five interceptions during the regular season.
Following the 49ers' season-ending loss in the NFC Championship Game, Gipson told reporters he was considering retirement. But a close bond with 23-year-old Hufanga, who also started all 17 regular-season contests and three playoff tilts, made him reassess.
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“[Hufanga] will be one of the sole reasons, honestly, for me wanting to continue playing,” Gipson told Chan after the season. “Because that’s how much love I've got for him. I wouldn’t be here without him. That youthfulness -- I can’t tell you enough.”
That sounds like a man who is open to returning to the Bay Area for one more season.