The San Francisco 49ers represented the NFC in the Super Bowl last year, but that has not stopped them from making moves this offseason. The latest move the team made came on Friday, when they acquired troubled cornerback Eric Wright from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a conditional late-round draft pick in 2014. But the 49ers now find themselves very deep at corner, with Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver, Perrish Cox, Tramaine Brock and offseason signing Nnamdi Asomugha in the mix along with Wright and Carlos Rogers.
Rogers was mentioned as a potential cap casualty early this offseason, but when $1.25 million of the $5.5 million he was slated to make this season became guaranteed on April 1 his roster spot looked safe. But with the acqusition of Wright speculation had a chance to resurface, and right on cue Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports has speculated that the 49ers don’t want to keep Rogers. It would largely be a financial decision for the team, since his cap number for this year is over $7 million (per Spotrac.com), but Rogers also had just one interception last season after picking off a career-high six passes in 2011.
If the 49ers cut ties with Rogers soon, should the Minnesota Vikings be among the teams to have interest in him?
The Vikings cut ties with veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield in March, then used one of their three-first round picks in April on Xavier Rhodes and signed Jacob Lacey in free agency. Winfield’s production will not be easily replaced, and his veteran presence will also be sorely missed in what is shaping up to be a very young secondary.
Rogers is not as accomplished as Winfield, or quite as old at age 32, but he has more career starts (100) and interceptions (15) than all of Minnesota’s other cornerbacks combined right now. That alone may make him an appealing option, and he could be used in a specialized role with Rhodes and Chris Cook expected to be the team’s top two cornerbacks. Second-year man Josh Robinson is currently slated to take Winfield’s spot as the primary slot corner for the Vikings, but adding some competition for him is something the team should still be willing to consider.
If the 49ers do release Rogers, the market for his services may quickly be narrowed by what he is seeking financially as well as his desire for an opportunity to start. The Vikings can’t necessarily offer him a clear path to a starting job, even with a lack of proven cornerbacks on the roster, and I think they would be foolish to get into any sort of bidding war to sign him.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.