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Perhaps too aggressively, the 49ers rewarded CB Carlos Rogers with a four-year contract following a breakthrough performance in 2011.
According to Spotrac, this deal stipulates a dead money hit of $6.23 million in 2013. Fortunately for the veteran corner, this addendum prevented Rogers from being a cap casualty after a lackluster season in 2012.
Moreover, Rogers’ contract is heavily back-loaded—a deal which sees him earn an $8.09 million cap figure in 2014. And astonishingly enough, he is owed even more in the final year of his deal the following season.
In 2014, Rogers will be 33 years old, and the 49ers will be free of cap penalty if they decide to release him outright.
In all likelihood, Rogers' performance will be on par, but the Niners will be looking to replenish the CB group. To allow for a smooth transition, the team should address the position this offseason, bringing in a versatile nickel-type cover corner.
In the upcoming draft, San Francisco may want to give Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu a hard look.
The one-time Chuck Bednarik Award winner from LSU is an outstanding, multifaceted athlete that projects as a top-tier nickel corner. However, his off-the-field issues will cause him to drop in the draft, giving the 49ers value in the middle rounds.
Rogers essentially made his living in the nickel, with Tarell Brown and Chris Culliver manning the perimeter.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, the 49ers came out of the nickel more than 60 percent of the time. Considering how elite their run defense has been, opponents have grown tired of rushing attempts, which has proven to be nothing more than an exercise in futility.
More often than not, opposing teams want to air it out against the Niners, hoping the pass defense comes out flat.
On top of restructuring the defensive front, San Francisco needs to add talent in the secondary. Mathieu could be a pivotal player in the future of this defense, and a playmaker to boot.
If teams are going to spread San Francisco out and put the ball in the air 40 times a game, the 49ers have to identify players that attack the football. Of the available defensive backs in the 2013 draft, there is perhaps none better than the Honey Badger.