In our last edition of this brand new segment that probably won’t continue (which makes this edition No. 2 of the segment if you’re keeping track at home, but if that were the case you’d already know that), we looked at three famous safeties who haven’t received a lot of attention: Charles Woodson, Kerry Rhodes and Michael Huff. Three days have passed, and all three remain unsigned.
Since the San Francisco 49ers have options and draft picks, and the market for defensive backs of all kinds is pretty poor this offseason, there’s also a chance a cornerback could fall into their laps at a price that’s too good to pass up.
These aren’t cornerbacks who I necessarily think the San Francisco 49ers should target. But if they stay on the board for much longer and get desperate to join not just the right team but any team, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see the 49ers swoop in.
And this post’s version of Ed Reed (who signed with the Texans today) is Darrelle Revis. It just seems like the price for Revis is too high if even the Buccaneers won’t pay up. The Jets want a ridiculous haul of picks for Revis, which means they’re trying to deal him when his value is at its lowest. Typical Jets.
But here are some unrestricted free agents who might come more cheaply.
You already knew about this one, since Asomugha visited the 49ers last week. He then went and took a trip to New Orleans to talk with the Saints. Matt Maiocco reported that Trent Baalke said the 49ers were still considering Asomugha, but the 49ers general manager also added a little message for the former star corner and his agent:
If Asomugha and the 49ers come to a contract agreement, Asomugha would join the 49ers with no guarantees of a starting job or playing time, Baalke suggested.
“That message is resonated loud and clear from our organization any time we make an acquisition,” said Baalke, the NFL’s Executive of the Year in 2011. “It’s still about competition. It’s still about earning your role within that locker room, within our team.
“That’s never going to change. We don’t make promises. We don’t make guarantees. We look at it like, ‘We’re bringing you in to compete. You will earn that role on this team through competition.’ That’s with every player.”
The 49ers are putting out a clear message. Want to win a Super Bowl? Put your ego aside, hit the weight room and get ready for a short-term deal at a reasonable rate. This makes sense in the case of Asomugha, who is only good as a man-to-man corner in press coverage anyway. Asomugha is also thought to have lost at least one step, maybe two. He has the size to provide a good matchup against larger receivers *on paper*, but unless he gets in better shape to revitalize his torpedoing career the 49ers would never consider starting him.
Listed as the No. 1 available free agent cornerback by Pro Football Focus, Grimes tore his achilles in Week 1 and missed the rest of the 2012 season. He also missed four games in 2011 due to a knee injury which required minor surgery. However, he was effective in the 12 games he played that year (62.9 rating against, 12 pass deflections), and intercepted 11 passes combined in 2009-10. Grimes’ price could fall due to health concerns, but the Buccaneers and Dolphins have shown interest.
Adam Jones (Update: Jones signed a three-year extension with the Bengals on Thursday morning, eight hours after I wrote this. You can all exhale now. You probably don’t need to waste your time reading the rest of this post…)
Yeah, I said it. Pacman quietly had a strong year with the Bengals, who supposedly were interested in bringing him back a month ago. He’s still unemployed, and with his history that might last a little while. His inclusion on this list, once again, is not an endorsement from anyone associated with BASG or its subsidiaries (of which there are currently: zero).
However, Harbaalke has demonstrated a willingness to take a risk. Did I mention Pacman was the sixth pick overall in the 2005 NFL Draft? Or that Pacman averaged 11.6 yards per punt return in 26 chances with a touchdown last year in Cincinnati? (Pacman was the best punt returner in football in 2006, then he was suspended for the 2007 by Roger Goodell after he made it rain in Vegas and all sorts of bad things happened.)
There’s no way the 49ers would ever offer Pacman (that’s five mentions of his nickname, a goal I set for myself when I started this post) anything longer than a one-year deal or a ridiculously cheap two-year pact, and if the 49ers are interested you won’t hear anything about it. The 49ers themselves will announce the signing on Twitter and everyone will freak out.