CB Will James joins the 49ers

OK, it’s not as newsworthy as Patrick Willis re-upping, but the 49ers added another piece to their defense today when they signed veteran CB Williams James. Or if you have a long memory – Will Peterson, as he was known during his first five seasons with the New York Giants.

James’ agent, Ronald Slavin, confirmed a one-year contract that includes September bonuses if the 6-foot, 200-pound corner makes the roster, though I haven’t heard any dollar figures yet.

James enters his 10th season after five with the Giants (2001-05), two with the Eagles (2006-07), one with Jacksonville (2008) and another with Detroit (2009). He started 14 games for the Lions last year, intercepting two passes and recording a career-high 14 passes defensed. He has eight interceptions over 326 92 NFL games, including 278 60 starts.


And if you want to see James victimize the man you currently love to hate, Ben Roethlisberger, click here. If only Big Ben’s bodyguards had intercepted him so smoothly in Milledgeville.


How does James fit? Shawntae Spencer, Tarell Brown and Nate Clements are expected to vie for the starting cornerback positions in San Francisco. That leaves James, who turns 31 in June, jockeying for depth-chart position with a cast that includes Keith Smith, Karl Paymah and seventh-round draft choice Phillip Adams.


One thing seems clear. The acquisition of James could mean that the 49ers have moved beyond a pair of veteran corners, Dre’ Bly and Walt Harris, who became free agents after the 2009 season.

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