With Shawntae Spencer the only cornerback on the roster with more than five starts in his career the 49ers eventually were going to sign a veteran to add to the secondary. The 49ers signed former Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers to a one-year deal on Tuesday night. The deal is believed to be for around $4 million. Rogers has made 68 starts at cornerback in his six-year career. Click here to see Rodgers’ career stats.
This of course is an upgrade as the 49ers starting cornerbacks before the signing would have been Spencer and Tarell Brown. Brown has only made five starts in his four-year career with the 49ers. Brown will now most likely be involved more with the Nickle defensive package like he was last season.
Rogers was the ninth player selected in the 2005 draft and while he is not the shutdown type cornerback the 49ers needed he will be welcomed to the secondary and provides depth at cornerback. The list of available free agent cornerbacks that could be a starter for the 49ers was dwindling which in part was my cause of concern with the post I wrote yesterday. With the 49ers pursuing and being spurned by the top-three cornerbacks in free agency (Nnamdi Asomugha, Jonathan Joseph and Antonio Cromartie) I didn’t think the 49ers would be able to land a player like Rogers.
The 49ers ranked 24th in the NFL in pass defense and with last year’s starter Nate Clements gone things were not looking good for the team before Rogers signed. Rogers recorded 54 tackles, one forced fumble and two interceptions in 12 starts last season. Spencer who started all 16 games for the 49ers last season had 42 tackles, one forced fumble and three interceptions. Rogers will pair nicely with Spencer.
Rogers does not come to the 49ers without flaws. Rogers was known as a cornerback who could play tight coverage while with the Redskins but when it came to intercepting the football his hands were like stone. He dropped two interceptions in a loss to the Colts last season which could have changed the result into a win with the Redskins losing 27-24. Rogers was benched in 2009 for biting too much on double moves by receivers. This was a huge issue with Clements last season but Rogers followed up 2009 by playing better coverage last season.
Here is Rogers statement after the loss to the Colts last season:
“I sit and think about it: ‘Man, I should have had them picks. Should have had four or five, pretty much probably leading the league or at the top. But my main thing is: I'm not going to get myself down because somebody outside of here — or whoever — talk about Carlos dropping picks... My main thing: I'd rather cover my man, cover the top receiver, lock him down, not let him catch the ball.”