Thursday, March 14, 2013
Nnamdi! OK, so it doesn't feel the same
By Mike Sando
Nnamdi Asomugha was widely considered to be among the best cornerbacks in the NFL before a disappointing two-year detour through Philadelphia.
Might the 31-year-old veteran find a career rebirth in San Francisco?
Asomugha's scheduled visit to the 49ers sounds exciting, but it's tough to know which direction San Francisco is headed with some of its free-agent visitors. The team could simply be weighing its options and waiting out the market. Charles Woodson came and went from team headquarters Wednesday, for example.
Adding Asomugha this offseason wouldn't feel as dramatic as adding him a couple of years ago would have felt, but what is the difference beyond age and perceptions? That is difficult to know.
"Asomugha had a solid season for the Eagles in 2012 but fell well short of expectations," Scouts Inc. wrote in its free-agent assessment. "He didn't appear to have the same explosive quickness and transition speed as he did in previous years."
The 49ers, at their best, have a formidable pass rush that can put cornerbacks in position to succeed. That pass rush waned late last season as injuries struck Justin Smith and Aldon Smith. Those players' improved health figures to restore the pass rush in 2013.
The Eagles released Asomugha. The league has largely shrugged its shoulders in response. Other well-known corners, including Antoine Winfield, have also hit the market recently.
The 49ers are in position to upgrade the position on paper, and probably on the field as well.