Cornerback Jason Verrett, coming off his best NFL season since 2015, does not have the game experience of a seven-year professional.
And while a variety of injuries have limited him to just 39 career games, it also has prevented him from accumulating the typical wear and tear.
He believes his strong 2020 season with the 49ers, during which he started 13 games, signals a new phase of his NFL career
“It’s definitely one thing that’s behind me,” Verrett said of the injuries. “I’ve been able to persevere through all of that.”
Verrett last week officially signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract to return to the 49ers. It was the third consecutive one-year contract Verrett has signed with the 49ers.
He turns 30 in June, but he said he does not feel as if he has already reached his physical prime.
“Definitely, I’m a young 30,” Verrett said. “I felt like I showed I can run with the best of them last year. I can still cover with the best of them. And I just got to go out there and play at a high level.
“I think at this point now with obviously a new generation, age really doesn’t factor in. Like a lot of people who maybe look 30, everybody’s body is a little different on how it takes a toll on them. For me, I’m strong, healthy and still feeling young.”
Verrett registered two interceptions, seven passes defensed and a career-best 60 tackles last season. Verrett ranked 12th in overall grade among full-time starting cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus.
And he believes he will continue to play at a high level this season to set himself up for a multi-year contract next offseason.
“As long as I can run, I think I’ll be all right,” he said.
Verrett said it was a good experience to talk to other teams in the opening days of free agency before opting to re-sign with the 49ers.
“It always feels good to be wanted,” he said. “But my heart was always with San Fran. I love the camaraderie we got with the team, the coaching staff, training staff, the amazing fans, the whole nine yards.
“I was happy we were able to get a deal done, and I’m just excited to see what we do this year.”
The 49ers this offseason also signed cornerback Emmanuel Moseley to a two-year extension. Verrett and Moseley are likely to be the team’s starting cornerbacks. The 49ers also re-signed veteran safety Jaquiski Tartt to a one-year deal.