Safety Johnathan Cyprien was a free agent just over a week ago, yet he is already making a case to make the 49ers’ 53-man roster.
Much to my surprise, Cyprien has been a standout at training camp. It’s not too common a free agent can just walk onto a field after just being signed and make plays.
The thought process behind the addition of Cyprien was that so he could provide adequate depth at safety. Tarvarius Moore was getting a ton of reps at nickel corner with K’Waun Williams out, which means the 49ers were down a safety. So it was looking like Cyprien was a camp body, and that the only way he could have a chance is if he really showed.
Well he certainly is showing out. The guy has already reeled in three interceptions, which is the most any player has outside of Richard Sherman in training camp.
Cyprien’s continued success is forcing the 49ers to make a hard decision on his spot with the team.
In just one week, Cyprien has already, in my mind, proven to be a solid safety that the 49ers can depend on. Now I know it has only been a week of practice and a larger sample size would grant great clarification. But Cyprien has been in the league for seven years, so seeing him make plays so immediate makes sense. His performance can be taken at face value and not a fluke.
Plus, his addition could be needed regardless if Moore sees a good chunk of snaps at nickel corner. Jimmie Ward, despite an incredible season, is still a player that gets plagued by injuries. One impressive season doesn’t wash away his injury history.
Let’s not forget that he started the season on the shelf with a broke finger. And before that, he broke his collarbone at OTAs in May 2019. Ward is still an injury waiting to happen until he strings along a couple of healthy seasons. Even Jaquiski Tartt gets bitten by the injury bug.
Depth is needed at safety, and with Cyprien making plays at camp, it really shouldn’t be a hard decision to make on him.
I would say that his odds are looking good right now and the fact that the 49ers sent him to the podium on Wednesday is an indication that they will retain him. Teams do not send out players to speak with the media if they believe they are going to get cut soon.
Cyprien should make the roster, especially if he can continue to show out.