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Jaquiski Tartt

Getty Cooper Kupp #10 of the Los Angeles Rams runs after a catch in the fourth quarter against Jaquiski Tartt #3 and K’Waun Williams #24 of the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game at SoFi Stadium on January 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California.

Despite their best efforts and a 10-point second-halflead, the San Francisco 49ers lost a heartbreaker to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship.

The Rams are onto Super Bowl LVI after their 20-17 win, beating the Niners for the first time since 2018 and snapping a six-game streak for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and his team in the matchup.

While there were a handful of late plays that the 49ers will look at as the primary causes of them losing, the dropped interception from safety Jaquiski Tartt will haunt fans. On what can only be called an “arm punt” from Rams quarterback Matt Stafford, Tartt dropped an easy interception that would’ve had the 49ers in the driver seat and with a lead mid-way through the 4th quarter.

It’s not really quite clear what caused Tartt to miss the interception. As the video above shows, he appears to turn around, find the ball and then something goes wrong.

Now, the 49ers veteran safety has spoken after the game.

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Tartt Speaks on Interception

The 49ers safety wasn’t off the field very long before he sent a message to the 49ers fanbase and to the NFL world, addressing the dropped pick.

“No excuses!! I deserve all the criticism my way!” Tartt Tweeted. “Opportunity I dream of I came up short!!! Let my brothers down!! It Still won’t define me as a person/player. Only will get stronger and better… #Believdat”

There were many 49ers fans responding to the NFL veteran to share their support, but there were plenty also quick to criticize him despite the message. With the Niners, Tartt has been a one-team player in the NFL, and it’s clear many San Francisco fans aren’t going to be quick to desert the defensive back.

Since being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Tartt has battled injuries but has never started less than six games in any season as PFR shows. In his seventh year, the former Samford Bulldog is still the go-to strong safety for the Niners. That may not be the case going forward, however.

49ers’ Future with Tartt

With some help from Spotrac, it’s clear that the 49ers are now facing a big decision when it comes to the safety. After the 2017 season, the 49ers were impressed enough with the safety to give him a solid deal for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, paying him a total of $13 million.

He had earned it after playing through his rookie contract, but his injury-riddled 2020 season meant the team was a lot less eager to give him another sizable deal. This led to a one-year, $1.127 million deal for the 2021 season.

Obviously, this now means Tartt is set to become a free agent. While one play doesn’t decide if a player is resigned, it’s obviously a factor. What’s also a factor is the presence of safety Talanoa Hufanga and defensive back Tarvarius Moore.

Moore has been injured all season with an Achilles tear and has another cheap year with the Niners on his contract. Meanwhiel, Hufanga is on a rookie deal and was drafted in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL draft, which means he’s also affordable.

There’s a very real chance that Tartt is on the outside looking in this 2022 offseason, and that may have been the case before the dropped interception.

Source: Heavy

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