Carlos Rogers on free agency: “It’s about trying to keep this team together.”

SANTA CLARA – The Niners free agent cornerback Carlos Rogers spoke at his locker this afternoon and here’s what he said.

Last night in my grades I said I didn’t think the Niners would resign him. After listening to Rogers speak today, I’ve changed my mind. I think he’ll be back.

Q: Why was Victor Cruz so effective in the first half?

ROGERS: “That man runs around so much. He runs a lot of option routes. If you’ve got inside leverage he runs outside (and vice versa), and pick moves with the tight end. In the second half I was like, ‘If I play outside, I’m going to run inside when you chop your feet or break down.’ In the second half he just had one catch. I just said, ‘If we lose this game it’s not going to be because I gave up six or seven catches in the first half.’ I was just going to put it on me to shut him down since I was in there by myself most of the time, and I think we did a pretty good job of that in the second half of containing him and containing their whole offense. We gave our self a chance to win.

Q: You can’t just react – you’ve got to anticipate when you’re covering the slot?

ROGERS: “Yeah, that’s why a lot of people don’t want to play it”.

Q: How tough is it when it ends so abruptly?

ROGERS: “It’s tough. Everybody always looks at the play that Kyle made because that’s their last memory of the game. There was so much stuff throughout that game we could have done better. Me personally, even though they didn’t result in touchdowns, but the first and second down catches that I gave up – I always look at myself and what I could have done.

Q: Does it give you motivation moving ahead that you guys got this close?

ROGERS: “You never know when you’re going to get this close again, that’s why I tell the guys to cherish every moment and give your all when you can.

“Some of these guys are asking me what I’m going to do, if I’ll be back, things like that. That’s my biggest thing – it’s about trying to keep this team together. Because I think we’ve really got something special here. There are always bits and pieces you have to fill. The coaches and general manager will decide that, but keep this team as close as we can. I think we’ve really got something special from the top down.”

Q: Is it your preference to be back here?

ROGERS: “My preference is to be back. Like I said, for four or five (years) I want to be back. Like I said, I’m going to leave that to my agent’s hands. He just got through talking to some of the guys upstairs about that. Now it’s about putting the team first in my decision, and also you want to be compensated for where you think you’re at or where the market puts you at. But also think about this team and not about self. That’s what I’m going to go into the offseason thinking about.”

Q: Did you get an optimistic vibe from them that you guys might be able to work something out?

ROGERS: “That’s what they said. They want to get it done, want to go on and get started on it as soon as possible. Hopefully I don’t even reach free agency. They said they want me back. They definitely want me back, but at the same time will they be able to match the highest bid if I hit free agency and still keep this team together? Probably not, so they just said, ‘Keep your mind on the team first.’ They’re going to try their best to get the job done.”

Q: Would you take a hometown discount to stay?

ROGERS: “Hometown discount? I would take a team discount. Hometown discount – I think that’s real low (laughs). But just consider the team first. I definitely will. Like I told them, I like this from the owner to the general manager to everybody that’s in this organization. I like everything about this organization – all the players, the trainers. This ain’t about me coming out and saying, ‘Now I’m free, let’s get the check.’ I’m thinking about this team, and this is where I want to be.”

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