The 49ers want to upgrade at safety, and suddenly there are multiple standouts to pick from in the veteran free-agent market.
This week, Baltimore declined to put the franchise tag on Eric Weddle, and the New York Giants did the same thing with Landon Collins. Weddle and Collins join a free-agent crop of safeties that also could include Earl Thomas, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Tyrann Mathieu.
At least one 49er is suggesting his team take a long look at Weddle, 34, the shaggy-bearded, 12-year veteran who has been selected to the Pro Bowl the past three seasons (and six times in his career). San Francisco fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who played with Weddle one season in Baltimore (2016), tweeted this Tuesday after the Ravens announced they would allow Weddle to enter free agency: “Massive loss for the @Ravens. One team’s loss is another team’s gain tho! I’ve got an extra bedroom if you need it @weddlesbeard.”
For his part, Weddle tweeted Tuesday night that he is “excited to see where I end up next season!!!”
Weddle continues to play at a high level despite his long tenure in the league, which started with nine seasons with the Chargers. He’s been first-team All-Pro twice, has 29 career interceptions and last season was in on 68 tackles from his free safety slot.
Thomas, the former Seahawks standout, could be a better fit, however, because of his age (29), knowledge of the NFC West and familiarity with the defensive scheme and his former longtime teammate, cornerback Richard Sherman, now in San Francisco.
Collins might be the gem of the class, however. At 25 the strong safety has played just four seasons, has three Pro Bowl appearances and one All-Pro selection and is a presence all over the field. His tackling stats: 108 (2015), 125 (2016), 99 (2017) and 96 (2018).