On the second official day of free agency, there aren’t many sure-things available to sign. With a few exceptions (most notably, Ndamukong Suh), most impact players have already been scooped up. With that in mind, the 49ers made what might be the most intriguing signing of Thursday’s action.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the 49ers signed cornerback Jason Verrett to a one-year, $3.6 million deal.

Verrett, a former first-round pick of the Chargers, has been a quality cornerback when healthy. The problem is, he can’t stay healthy. 

In five seasons, he’s played in 25 of 80 possible games. Over the past three seasons, he’s appeared in five games due to a partially torn ACL that ended his 2016 season, another knee injury in 2017, and a torn Achilles before the 2018 season. You have to go back to 2015 to find evidence of Verrett’s quality, when he notched three interceptions and 12 passes defended in 14 games. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the second highest-graded cornerback that season.

His history suggests that he won’t be able to stay healthy. But if he does, the 49ers will have gotten a bargain. It’s worth remembering that the 49ers took a gamble — albeit, a significantly smaller one — when they signed Richard Sherman after Sherman’s 2017 season ended with a torn Achilles, and Sherman rewarded them with a quality season. The risk is much higher with Verrett, but he is still only 27. And if he doesn’t make it through the season unscathed, the 49ers will only lose out on $3.6 million.

For a team that entered the offseason needing to address its secondary and is entering the upcoming season with playoff aspirations, that’s not a bad gamble to take. 

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