The San Francisco 49ers are looking to add another cornerback this offseason and have been in talks with free agent Nnamdi Asomugha for over a week now. But the veteran DB is reportedly torn between San Fran and the New Orleans Saints (who are making a strong push for his services) and has yet to make a decision as to where he’ll be playing next season.
The Niners, already equipped with three quality corners, aren’t willing to guarantee Asomugha a starting spot in the lineup, but can offer him one heck of a shot at getting his first Super Bowl ring. The Saints, on the other hand, can promise a starting job, but it would be as part of a rebuilding defense on a team with little-to-no shot of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in the near future.
Veteran free agents heading to San Fran have found out the hard way that playing time is no guarantee. Randy Moss saw limited action throughout the 2012 season after signing a one-year deal, and Brandon Jacobs was barely able to get on the field before being suspended and eventually let go. Trent Baalke and Co. know the road to success in this league is through the draft and not free agency, a strategy that has obviously worked to their favor.
Asomugha would probably fare better in San Fran’s D than he did in his two years with the Philadelphia Eagles, but that doesn’t mean the Niners should overpay or make any unnecessary promises to bring him in.
They are instead playing it smart, as usual, and letting the player decide if he ultimately wants a bigger paycheck and more playing time from a team desperate to sign him, or a shot at playing for a championship. Being only 31, there’s a good chance Asomugha signs with the Saints, which should be just fine with San Francisco.
There are plenty of young and talented corners in this year’s draft that can not only provide immediate help, but also serve as another building block for sustained success. The 49ers will have 14 picks in this year’s draft, so if there’s someone they truly want, they should be able to get their hands on him.