The Niners just announced that they re-signed outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks to a six-year contract extension.
The contract is worth $44.5 million, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
Now, the Niners have every member of their elite defensive front-seven signed for multiple seasons. They’ve solidified the strength of their team, which is always a good strategy.
It’s interesting that the Niners gave Brooks the first long-term contract of the offseason, and not Carlos Rogers or Dashon Goldson or Alex Smith. Clearly, the Niners viewed Brooks as the guy they could least afford to lose. In a blog last week, I said Carlos Rogers was that guy. I guess the Niners disagreed.
I wonder how many five-year, $35 million contract the Niners plan on handing out this offseason?
Alex Smith is going to get one even larger than that, presumably.
Dashon Goldson probably won’t get one – there are rumors the Niners will franchise tag him.
What about Carlos Rogers? Will he get one?
I’m starting to doubt it. I don’t think the Niners want to spend a lot of money on their defensive backs – they’d prefer to build that group through the draft. Besides, Chris Culliver is more athletic than Rogers in every way, and he’s much cheaper. I’m sure the Niners believe Culliver could do Rogers’ job in 2012 – play left cornerback in the base defense and slot cornerback in nickel. He’s big enough to play left corner, and he’s quick and agile enough to play slot – he just lacks Rogers’ experience.
If the Niners do not resign Rogers, they’ll probably draft another six-foot corner to play left corner in nickel packages when Culliver slides over to the slot receiver.
In the Niners’ defense, the short corners, the ones who are 5-10 like Tarell Brown and Tramaine Brock, they’re best suited to play right cornerback, because they always have free safety help over the top.
The left cornerback plays next to Donte Whitner, who is just 5-10 and plays closer to the line of scrimmage than Dashon Goldson. So, the Niners’ left corner gets much less safety help. So, it helps if he’s a little taller, so a quarterback can’t just throw it over his head to taller receivers.
Here are three cornerbacks the Niners could draft to replace Rogers, if it came to that. I picked these three because they fulfill the athletic requirements of being a Niner left cornerback – at least six-feet tall, at least 190 pounds, at least 4.45 speed.
1. Stephon Gilmore 6-0, 190 lbs., 4.44 – The Niners could draft this guys with their first round pick. He went to the University of South Carolina with Culliver. He played in the SEC, which Baalke likes. He had a very fast ten-yard split in the 40-yard dash (1.5 seconds), and his vertical leap was an impressive 36 inches. Still, I think the Niners should trade up for Kendall Wright in the first round.
2. Coryell Judie 6-0, 194., 4.44 – This guy could be the best value for the Niners. They could draft him in the third round, and he’s very similar athletically to Gilmore. Judie’s knock is that he isn’t that agile, but that’s not the biggest deal. The Niners already have their agile cornerback – Culliver. They need a guy tall, fast guy who can play on the left sideline. Judie fits.
3. Coty Sensabaugh 5-11, 189 lbs., 4.37 – If the Niners miss out on Gilmore and Judie, they can draft this guy on the third day. He went to Clemson and had a very good senior season, and then he had a great combine.