San Francisco 49ers: 5 Players With a Last Chance in 2016
By Jerod Brown
Tramaine Brock is a starting cornerback for the 49ers. But that might not last for long. There are three cornerbacks below him on the depth chart that are biting at his ankles for playing time. Kenneth Acker, Keith Reaser and Dontae Johnson are all on the cusp of overtaking Brock as the number one corner on the 49ers.
If two of those three have solid training camps, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see Brock become a backup.
Brock signed a four-year extension in 2013 and Jason Hurley of Niners Nation broke down some of the payments and incentives associated with the contract. The contract for Brock is not so lucrative that the 49ers couldn’t reasonably back out at any time that they believe Brock isn’t performing.
And that time may be coming soon.
When the 49ers extended Brock, he was playing unbelievably well and was making himself a name after going undrafted and signing as a free agent in 2010.
Brock has played average. But the 49ers needed him to maintain his ascension and continue to create turnovers for the defense. He intercepted only three passes this season in 15 games. in 2013, the season that he signed his extension, he intercepted five passes in only seven games started.
For one reason or another, his turnover rate has declined. Pro Football Focus tweeted their cornerback rankings in early December and Brock fell roughly where you might expect. He ranked 37th. Not great, not terrible.
If there weren’t young players behind Brock on the depth chart, it might make sense to continue paying him to start. But the 49ers have likely seen what he is and are risking the development of young corners behind him by continually starting Brock each weekend.
If Brock doesn’t firmly stand out in training camp and the regular season, he could see the 2016 season as his last with the team.
Next: Underwhelming and Injured