San Francisco 49ers: Why Nnamdi Asomugha Could Turn the 49ers into a Contender

Joseph BurkeyAnalyst IJanuary 10, 2011

Asomugha is...available?
Asomugha is...available?Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Nnamdi Asomugha's contract was voided by Oakland Raiders over the weekend, essentially rendering the star cornerback a free agent.

Without exploring the hows and whys of the situation, one fact is certain: Asomugha would certainly bolster the weakest part of the San Francisco 49ers secondary, and could immediately turn them into a strong contender in 2011.

Nate Clements was a liability for the 49ers secondary throughout the 2010 season; he cost the team beaucoup dollars, many yards, a few touchdowns and maybe even a win or two.

Brought in when the 49ers obviously needed a boost in the secondary, Clements has yet to deliver what the 49ers have really needed from him. Clements' aggressive style has primarily been high-risk-no-reward since he signed an eight-year, $80 million contract before the 2007 season.

Asomugha has been one of the game's more complete shutdown corners. Oakland's premier defensive back over the last eight years, Asomugha would come into the 49ers organization as their best corner since Deion Sanders in 1994.

Signing Asomugha would be no cakewalk, as he has been one of the league's top-paid defensive players. The 49ers, however, could offer Asomugha very decent pay without a need to relocate.

If Asomugha would come to San Francisco, it would take a little more of the guesswork out of what the 49ers might do with their 2011 first-round draft pick. Most fans-turned-scouts are looking quarterback, while a few are fixated on pass rushers and corners. Signing Nnamdi would take some of the guesswork out of April a couple months early.

San Francisco 49ers fans might not want to hold their breath, as a big acquisition just arrived in the form of head coach Jim Harbaugh. Nevertheless, Asomugha's availability should be at least a little intriguing to the 49ers Faithful, and to Trent Baalke.