49ers pass on safeties in 2022 NFL Draft, open to free agents at right price

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49ers pass on safeties in draft, will bank on Ward and Co. originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers are content with their current situation at safety, but they'd never say never if a veteran free agent appealed to them.

San Francisco did not add a safety to its roster in the 2022 NFL Draft, citing confidence in whom it has on the roster. Still, if general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan were presented with the perfect scenario involving a veteran free agent, they're open to the possibility.

“If we feel it makes sense and someone else is willing to do it for the right price, and we think that fits the spot on the roster, we would never have any problem with that,” Shanahan said Saturday. “We would try to do that as soon as possible, but it’s got to be right for both sides.”

While star free-agent safeties such as Tyrann Mathieu, Landon Collins and Tashaun Gipson remain unsigned, the 49ers have a limited amount of salary-space available. Still, Shanahan quipped that the financial people upstairs were tasked with figuring out that part of the equation.

The 49ers' current safety group is led by veteran Jimmie Ward, who's entering his ninth season with the team after being drafted No. 30 overall in 2014. San Francisco drafted Talanoa Hufanga in 2021, and added free agent and key special-teamer George Odum during the offseason.

The 49ers also are banking on the return of Tarvarius Moore, who suffered an Achilles injury in June 2021.

“I think he’s doing well,” Shanahan said. “We’re not allowed to see them out there until Monday -- that’s when coaches can go out on the field, and so that’s when we’ll go out and work and do some drills and everything. But he was here the first two weeks and been working out with the guys, and I’m excited about him.”

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Jaquiski Tartt remains a free agent, but neither Lynch nor Shanahan gave an indication that they'd reach out to the longtime 49ers safety in the near future. The Samford product spent seven seasons in San Francisco after being picked in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

“We haven’t talked to him,” Lynch said. “We haven’t gone there yet. We will see. He’s a free agent. We think highly of Jaquiski. He’s played a lot of good football for us, and we’re grateful for that. Talented, talented dude. And he’ll play in this league, and continue to play at a high level.”

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