Jaquiski Tartt is still on the market.
Much like last year’s free agency spell, suitors for Tartt don’t seem to be showing up. There’s still time for a team to appear, but anyone can guess at this point.
As it stands, the 49ers don’t have a starting-caliber safety on the roster. They could roll with Talanoa Hufanga, but there will be a lot of bumps along the way with him that I’m not sure the 49ers will want to afford. The fact that they signed Charvarius Ward to start instead of rolling with Ambry Thomas indicates that.
Tartt is a hugely underrated security. Health wasn’t too much of an issue with him last season as it had been in the past. He’s still a hard-hitting starter who, alongside Jimmie Ward, makes for one of the best safety tandems in the game.
So should the 49ers re-sign Tartt?
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Bring it back immediately.
There’s a major security hole for the 49ers, just like there was around the corner after K’Waun Williams signed with the Broncos. The options to replace Williams are slim, just like with Tartt if he remains unsigned. Its cost should clearly not be as high as its market suggests.
Additionally, the 49ers could use the four-year qualifying player offer since he has been playing with the team for at least four years. This will achieve the minimum veteran salary cap of $1.035, but a salary of up to $1.35 million and more than that. It’s just a question of whether Tartt is ready to sign at this number. He could just be done here as I think he is aware that he finally wants a valuable deal for himself. Can’t say I blame him, especially with state taxes here on such a minimum deal, it’s less attractive to stay.
However, if he found him somehow enjoyable, then the 49ers should definitely bring him back now that his market is no longer showing up. Re-sign it, then draft its replacement. Even if they take a solid safety on Day 2 of the draft, they can still find ways to implement this rookie without letting valuable reps to develop go to waste. Also, the odds of Tartt re-injuring himself for a rookie to step in are pretty likely.
The 49ers could ultimately do with older high school players who have a history of injuries. But bringing Tartt down to such a low number is worth bending the rules of this ideology.