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San Francisco 49ers fortify defense by signing 2-time Super Bowl champion for stretch run

Fresh off a blowout 42-19 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, most view the San Francisco 49ers as the odds-on favorites to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in Las Vegas this coming February.

San Francisco sits at 9-3 on the season and has blown out multiple Super Bowl contenders, including the Dallas Cowboys and aforementioned Eagles.

In between those two wins, San Francisco lost All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga for the season with a torn ACL.

Well, it didn’t take always-active general manager John Lynch and Co. long to react. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, San Francisco has signed two-time Super Bowl champion defensive back Logan Ryan.

It is somewhat of a surprise that the 32-year-old Ryan was still available on the NFL free agent market heading into Week 14.

A third-round pick of the New England Patriots out of Rutgers back in 2013, he played cornerback his first seven seasons in the NFL. He transitoned to safety with the New York Giants back in 2020 and has started 36 games over the past three seasons at that position.

Last season with the Buccaneers, Ryan yielded a mere 57.1% completion in nine games (six starts). He’ll provide depth and experience (121 career starts) to go with another veteran in Tashaun Gipson at safety for the 49ers.

Related: San Francisco 49ers standing in Sportsnaut’s NFL defense rankings

Logan Ryan will only help league-best San Francisco 49ers defense

san francisco 49ers sign logan ryan
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco heads into Week 14 against the Seattle Seahawks having yielded the second-fewest points in the NFL at 15.8 per game. It is also No. 5 in the league in total defense while giving up a mere 12 touchdown passes compared to 15 interceptions in 12 games this season.

Charvarius Ward has played well as the 49ers’ No. 1 cornerback. Youngster Deommodore Lenoir (87.6 QB rating allowed) has stepped up into a larger role.

The one area in San Francisco’s secondary in need of help was safety. With the aforementioned Hufanga sidelined, rookie third-round pick Ji’Ayir Brown has started the past two games. The Penn State product has played well during that span (15 tackles, 1 INT) while giving up a 64.6 QB rating in coverage.

Brown will likely continue manning the starting safety spot next to Gipson. But Ryan provides the necessary depth and experience behind him. He can also play cornerback in a pinch.

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