Nnamdi Asomugha may not have a guaranteed contract with the San Francisco 49ers. He isn’t even listed as a current starter for the 49ers right now. But sometime this year, probably sooner rather than later, Asomugha will be a starting cornerback for the defending NFC Champions.
According to Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Gate, Asomugha has already leapfrogged nickel corner Chris Culliver in the teams Organized Team Activities (OTAs). With starting defensive back Tarell Brown absent from the voluntary workouts, Asomugha has been inserted into the 49ers starting lineup.
Brown’s starting defensive back spot is secure as he is arguably the best corner on the roster, but opposite of him, Carlos Rogers‘ spot is in jeopardy. Rogers came to the 49ers two years ago and made an immediate impact in the Niners’ rise to prominence, but last year he fell back to earth slightly.
Rogers was told that he is a starter, but Asomugha is breathing down his neck. Nnamdi feels at home in Northern California, as he should seeing as he went to University of California Berkeley and played for the Oakland Raiders for the majority of his career. After departing via free agency to the Philadelphia Eagles in a big money deal, Asomugha was not used to his strengths and lost a step — bad news for a corner — but the 49ers will utilize him in press coverage and with an improved pass rush, the team is hoping that he won’t have to cover receivers for too long.
The Niners secondary should be interesting to watch with competition at safety and cornerback on a team that will need its defense to be elite if they want to return to the Super Bowl.