Though the start of NFL’s 2023 free agency period is still a few days away, the San Francisco 49ers have reportedly made a deal with one of their impending unrestricted free agents, signing Tashaun Gipson to a new one-year contract according to Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team.
The agreement, which hasn’t officially been announced by the team for obvious reasons, is reportedly worth $2.9 million according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston, and the contract features $2.17 million in guaranteed money, with $1 million coming in the form of a signing bonus, $1.17 million in guaranteed base salary, plus an additional $40,000 per game in active roster bonus, and a $300,000 incentive should he make the Pro Bowl. For salary cap purposes, the contract also features voidable years from 2024-27 for cap purposes, though the contract automatically voids if Gipson remains on the roster on the fifth day of the 2024 league year.
With Gipson’s new contract counting as $2.17 million against the salary cap, the 49ers now have $3.75 million in available funds, according to Over The Cap, but could theoretically free up more funds depending on whether or not John Lynch decides to restructure any contracts before March 15th.
Tashaun Gipson Decided not to Retire Just Before Free Agency
In February, Gipson was asked about his plans for the 2023 NFL season by Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area and let it be known that his future was very much up in the air.
“I’m going to decompress and see where I’m at,” Gipson said. “This was only supposed to be until Jimmie Ward got healthy, but I’m so grateful. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation.”
Fortunately, Gipson did opt to return to the field in 2023, which was first reported by Matt Barrows of The Athletic on March 9th, and now, he won’t have to worry about how the free agent market shakes out, as he’ll be able to keep his locker room in the SAP Performance Facility after all.
The San Francisco 49ers Keep Their Starting Safeties Intact
After some speculation, the 49ers have officially retained both of their starting safeties from the 2022 NFL season, with Talanoa Hufunga set to enter Year 3 and Gipson ready to play more of the Cover 3, single high safety position that Steve Wilks deployed in Carolina and Arizona; a role he excelled in during his run as a member of the Cleveland Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
For Hufunga, this is great news, as, during an interview with Carlos Ramirez, Donte Whitner, and Rod Brooks on “49ers Postgame Live,” back in October, the USC standout lauded what the veteran safety meant to his career up to that point.
“I don’t want to get emotional and stuff because Tashaun has been a great mentor for me,” Hufanga said. “He came in and with our chemistry it has… has been incredible.
“A guy that brings so much knowledge to the game, and for as old as he is, as I joke around with him, all the energy and juice he brings along with it.”
On October 30th, Gipson returned the complementary favor, telling Whitner of NBC Sports Bay Area that it’s his job to get Hufanga to the Pro Bowl, an accomplishment that was ultimately earned as a second-year pro.
“I told him I [saw] it in him. I said, ‘Man, you’re going to be the best safety in the league … My job is to get you where you’re trying to go,’ ” Gipson said via NBA Sports Bay Area. “… I asked him what his goals [were]. He said, ‘Man, I just want to get to a Pro Bowl.’”
Fortunately for both Gipson and Hufanga, the duo will be afforded one more year to work together in the hopes of making the latter the best safety in the NFL.