SAN FRANCISCO (Bleacher Report) — After agreeing to a deal with the San Francisco 49ers this week, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is heading home—both in geographical location and defensive philosophy.
A four-time All-Pro selection with the Oakland Raiders and graduate of UC Berkeley, Asomugha agreed to a modest one-year deal worth just $1.35 million in base salary and contains no guarantees.
Low-Risk, High-Reward Deal
It would be one thing if the 49ers paid Asomugha the type of top dollar he commanded on the free-agent market just three offseasons ago. Such a move would be considered preposterous.
However, GM Trent Baalke’s savvy acquisition of the supremely talented cornerback was a bargain that has potential to pay huge dividends for the Niners in 2013.
If the playoffs exposed anything, it’s that the Niners desperately need a cornerback on the outside that excels at bump-and-run, man-to-man coverage.
The assumption is that if Asomugha is anywhere near the player he was for the Oakland Raiders, he’ll start. But he has made a commitment to earning it himself, as evidenced by his refusal to accept guaranteed money. READ MORE
Fits In 49ers Secondary
Asomugha is likely landing in the perfect situation to turn around his career. Lost in the zone principles of the Philadelphia Eagles defense, Asomugha now lands in one of the game’s most man-centered defenses in San Francisco.
Fundamentally, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio prefers to play press-man coverage with two safeties high. The idea is for the 49ers front seven to get home to the quarterback while the cornerbacks play in the face of the receivers and the safeties are free to roam, either in the box or at the back end of the secondary.
The look has worked wonders for the 49ers, who have been one of the game’s best defenses over the last two seasons.
Asomugha should be well-versed in playing the way Fangio wants his cornerbacks to. READ MORE
Affects 49ers’ Draft Choices
Signing Asomugha may postpone an immediate need at the cornerback position in this year’s NFL draft. San Francisco may now look to utilize one of their early picks to address other needs, such as a top pass-rusher or a safety.
With 13 picks, the 49ers can make nearly any decision they see fit. Considering San Francisco’s relatively few draft needs, it is likely they will be able to move up one or more times to select players of high caliber. READ MORE
Overall Grading Of Asomugha’s Signing
Bottom line: The Asomugha deal fills a 49ers need at a bargain price with little risk but a chance for a huge reward. CLICK HERE for a further breakdown of the grade for this deal.
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