Nate Clements Out of San Francisco? How the 49ers Could Land Nnamdi Asomugha

Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 17:  Nnamdi Asomugha  #21 of the Oakland Raiders breaks up a pass intended for Michael Crabtree #15 of the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on October 17, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Nate Clements has been a disappointment in San Francisco to say the least.

He hasn't lived up to the $80 million contract the 49ers gave him in his free agent blockbuster deal.

Clements has been nothing short of a liability.

With new head coach Jim Harbaugh coming into San Francisco any objective look at the 49ers' personnel may not have Clements survive this offseason. Not only is Clements' stock at an all-time low, it has been reported that a contract clause has one of the league's elite corners as a free agent.

Nnamdi Asomugha is a top-two cornerback in the NFL. He can run with virtually any receiver in the league and brings exactly what the 49ers would need to make up for the shortcomings Clements has presented during his tenure.

Asomugha is already in the Bay Area, so the transition would not be difficult for him. He is extremely highly paid, so the 49ers could not simply give him the money that would have gone to Clements, not that those financial processes are ever that easy.

There will also be an extra sum of money that is made available if Aubrayo Franklin becomes a free agent. He is unlikely to accept another year under a franchise tag and is currently soaking up a huge portion of the cap. Given his decline, it is unclear what his future holds.

Nnamdi Asmougha would give the 49ers the ability to shut down every single premier receiver they face. It is a huge advantage that Jim Harbaugh would likely love to have during the beginning of his tenure.

With a new defensive coordinator likely on the way, Clements no longer has anyone in his corner and cannot hide from the film under a new regime.

Should Clements leave and Nnamdi Asomugha enter, it would give the 49ers freedom in the draft. They would need defensive line depth, especially if Franklin left, but it would address the cornerback position and have an immediate impact on the effectiveness at the safety position.

The 49ers' starting safeties of the future are likely Dashon Goldson and Taylor Mays. Both have problems in coverage, yet are among the hardest hitting safeties in the league.

By grabbing a guy like Asomugha, the 49ers would be able to be more flexible with the safeties.

The Shawntae Spencer, Nnamdi Asomugha, Dashon Goldson, Taylor Mays/Reggie Smith secondary would suffice going into next season. The 49ers would go into free agency and the draft with one less need. 

If Aubrayo Franklin leaves, that position will obviously take precedence over everything else defensively this offseason; even so, it seems as though Asomugha and even backup nose tackle Ricky Jean-Francois would be an upgrade from an aging, declining Franklin and Clements.

Jed York gained a ton of credibility by bringing in a respectable coach. Prior to the Harbaugh signing, York had put forth a lot of statements and promises that had no merit. Delivering a high profile free agent would appease the fan base and boost his stock even further.

Harbaugh, Asomugha and even an average quarterback would make this offseason a success for San Francisco, regardless of what April holds for the 49ers.