The so-called #NnamdiWatch is over, as the cornerback is headed back to the Bay Area. Nnamdi Asomugha, a star cornerback at Cal and with the Oakland Raiders before getting paid and seeing his reputation go down in flames with the Philadelphia Eagles, has reportedly signed a one-year deal for up to $3 million. However, it’s a deal that puts the 49ers at little to no risk:
Asomugha was reportedly choosing between offers from the 49ers and New Orleans Saints. The 49ers gave Asomugha a chance to come back to a familiar area and play for Jim Harbaugh, a coach who he got along quite well with when Harbaugh was a Raiders assistant back in 2003, as Akbar Gbaja-Biamili told Matt Barrows. Barrows also wrote how this contract shows Asomugha — who’ll make $4 million from the Eagles this year no matter what — isn’t guaranteed a roster spot with the 49ers come September.
That’s because the 49ers bring back their top three corners from last year — Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers and Chris Culliver. There could be an opening for Asomugha if Culliver is moved to safety, but their styles are different. There is very little chance Rogers will be released, for a couple of reasons. Cutting Rogers would only give the 49ers $1.1 million in cap savings this year, and Rogers is still a productive player and a steadying locker room influence.
Playing behind a better pass rush under coaches who know his strengths (Asomugha is still one of the better press corners in the NFL, and at 31 that should still be the case in 2013) would help his reputation on the field. Off the field, stuff like this can’t hurt:
I have a feeling Asomugha will make the 49ers coming out of camp. Taking this long to decide before signing a relatively cheap contract shows he feels like he has something to prove, and it isn’t too late for Asomugha to show the folks in Philly that it wasn’t just his fault that the megadeal they agreed to back in 2011 didn’t work out.