Eric Reid reportedly could have come back to the 49ers this week instead of signing a one-year contract with the Panthers.
The 49ers also offered Reid a one-year contract this week, the San Francisco Chronicle's Eric Branch and NFL Media's Jim Trotter reported Thursday. Carolina clearly was more intriguing than San Francisco, which decided Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert would be the long-term starters at safety, so any players added there would be considered backups and paid accordingly.
With injuries to Tartt and Colbert, the 49ers need safety help. After Tartt missed the Week 3 loss to the Chiefs, the 49ers reportedly reached out to Reid.
Back in August, the 49ers also offered Reid a contract. It again was a one-year deal, though to be Tartt's backup.
“The reason we decided to go that direction is because we made a tough decision, but we had to do it. We went with Tartt," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said in August. "We thought that was the right way to go. You can’t give a lot of money to backups, and that’s what he would be if he came here.
"But I like Eric. Eric is a good player. He’s a good person. That’d be great if we could add him to that role. I don’t think he would be that interested in it.”
Jim Trotter reported earlier Thursday morning that the 49ers had interest in signing Reid to a multiyear deal. But both Trotter and Branch have reported the team offered Reid a one-year contract.
Reid is expected to start for the Panthers after they placed starting safety Da’Norris Searcy on injured reserve this week. Tartt's injury isn't considered to be a long-term issue.
Richard Sherman's resume is as long as any other cornerback, but NFL analyst Peter Schrager believes the 49ers veteran is underrated.
"I think Richard Sherman last year had a really good season," Schrager said on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" on Monday. "The Achilles didn't seem to bother him all that much. And then when it mattered most, [he] was shutting down the No. 1 wide receivers in the league, and that was with a completely depleted defense and an offense that had an undrafted rookie named Nick Mullens keeping them afloat. I think Richard Sherman [is] still underrated."
Sherman started 14 games in his first season with San Francisco, defending a career-low four passes and intercepting zero passes for the first time in his career. Those low counting stats would be concerning for a defensive back's first season in their 30s, even excluding the season-ending Achilles injury he sustained in 2017, but Sherman's production wasn't the same as his best years with the Seattle Seahawks in large part because NFL offenses didn't seem to underrate him.
According to Pro Football Focus, Sherman was targeted just once every 12.6 coverage snaps. No cornerback was avoided more than him, and Sherman also ranked first among corners in allowing a reception every 20.7 coverage snaps. In other words, opposing quarterbacks seemed to rate Sherman as one of the NFL's best cornerbacks.
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How long that continues is an open question. Sherman is entering his ninth year in the NFL and turned 31 in March. Twenty-eight defensive backs were 31 or older last NFL season, and only 12 of them were 32 or older. Sherman will be 33 if he finishes out the three-year deal he signed with the 49ers last year, and it seems likely he will be targeted more the older he gets.
But until then, it's clear Sherman's opposition under center view him as one of the best cornerbacks in the league even if Schrager's punditry peers do not.
Organized team activities began Monday for NFL teams, and Washington suffered a loss shortly after the opening of camp.
Former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster went down during the second play of OTAs with what appeared to be a serious left leg injury. He was on the ground for several minutes before being carted off while in tears.
After an receiving an MRI, Foster's injury appears to be very serious.
That's a brutal development for Foster and Washington.
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Foster was drafted by the 49ers with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, which was the beginning of a tumultuous time in the Bay Area.
The Alabama product was arrested three times and suffered multiple on-field injuries during his time with the 49ers. San Francisco cut ties with Foster last November after he was accused of committing domestic battery at a team hotel in Florida.
Washington claimed the linebacker off waivers a few days later. Foster recorded 84 solo tackles in his 16-game career with the 49ers.
The 49ers have since revamped their linebacking corps after Foster's departure. They signed Kwon Alexander to a four-year contract in the offseason and spent a fifth-round draft pick on Arkansas' Dre Greenlaw.
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch hope Alexander, once he gets fully healthy, and Greenlaw can fill the role left by Foster's departure in the middle of the defense.