The 49ers signed cornerback Perrish Cox to a two-year contract on Tuesday, just hours before the start of the free-agent signing period.Cox sat out last season after the Denver Broncos released him at the end of training camp, so he was free to sign with any team at any time.On March 2, Cox was acquitted of sexual assault charges in Colorado. Cox was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his apartment in September 2010 after a night of partying, according to an Associated Press report. She became pregnant, and prosecutors said DNA tests indicated Cox was the father.
Cox's attorney had disputed the DNA test results and suggested they may have been contaminated. Cox denied having sex with the woman, who testified that she believed she was drugged because she remembers little about what happened.RELATED: Perrish Cox career stats Perrish Cox newsCox started nine games with the Denver Broncos in 2010 as a rookie from Oklahoma State. He also returned nine kickoffs (19.1-yard average) and three punts (2.3 average).Among the 49ers' scheduled free agents are cornerback Carlos Rogers and return man Ted Ginn. The 49ers have also given permission to veteran cornerback Shawntae Spencer to seek a trade, league sources have told CSNBayArea.com.
Cox took part in a conference call with media members Tuesday after he signed the contract:General manager Trent Baalke said the organization is confident that you "will be a positive contributor to the 49ers as well as our community." What kind of assurances have you given the team that you can live up to that?
Cox: "First off, I want to thank everybody for giving me the chance to actually express myself them and go out and have dinner with the owner and the GM so they could figure out what kind of guy I am. I've worked hard through this whole process. Like I was telling them, whatever happened, happened, and I took full responsibility for my actions. But it will never happen again -- ever again. I'm a positive guy, and if I can help in any way, I want to be there to help."RELATED: An updated look at 49ers' free-agent needs
Have you made lifestyle changes? What have you done to try to make sure that doesn't happen again?
Cox: "First off, I never want to be in a position I was in before ever again. That's not me. I'm not that type of guy. To prove that, I'll show the community and the coaches and the team what type of guy I am and can be. From here on out, I'll show it."What did you do during the season last year?
Cox: "I went back home (Waco, Texas) to my family, spent time with my kids, my mother and father, sisters. The whole time I was there, I just spent a lot of time with them. Also, I've been working out the whole time. That has helped get along with the whole process of what's been going on. Like I said, I've just been working hard and trying to keep myself in better shape so when I got the opportunity again. I thank them for the chance. It's time for me to prove it."Have the 49ers talked to you about what they see as your role?
Cox: "Not as of now, but whatever role I need to be in, I'll take full pride in it and give it my whole for the whole organization."Are you a starting cornerback in the NFL?
Cox: "If I am, it'll be proven. But if not, I'll take the backup role, also. I'm here to prove whatever I can prove. Whatever I'm asked to do, I'm here to do it."Can you play in the slot?
Cox: "I could. Yes, sir."Did you ever wonder if you'd get another chance in the NFL? Did it ever occur to you during your year off that it might be it for you?
Cox: "It's always been in the back of my mind that I'd want to be an NFL player again. But going through process, I was trying to focus on the things I could focus on and trying to help out with that. But it was never a doubt. I always tried to worked out and better myself for what the chance came. And, like I said, finally the chance came and I appreciate that."Where is home for you?
Cox: "Waco, Texas. I was actually at home training with my father. He's a trainer."When you're home in Waco, was there anyone from the NFL you worked out with?
Cox: "Yes, Champ Bailey was a guy who was helping me through everything, as far as talking. But as far as playing the game again, I was actually just training with a couple high-schoolers back home in my hometown -- a couple players who would come work out with me. But through the whole process, I just worked out with my father."What does it say that Ed Donatell would want to coach you again? (Donatell coached defensive backs with the Broncos, and now they will be reunited with the 49ers.)
Cox: "We had a great relationship when I was with the Broncos. He always had faith in me. We just had a great relationship during the whole process. He's helped me out. He's taught me everything while I was with the Broncos. And I gained the trust that he needed from me. Hopefully, that can start up again."You were acquitted in the sexual assault case, do you come out bitter, humbled, what kind of mindset?
Cox: "Humbled. It was a nervous and scary situation for me. But like I said, I don't blame nobody but myself. I take full responsibility for my actions. I'll never put myself in that position again. But I just want everybody involved with it to go on with their lives and make anything positive out of it. It's my whole goal about my whole situation."What did you feel you did wrong in that whole situation?
Cox: "I just shouldn't been in that whole zone. Whatever happened that day, night, whatever happened, it shouldn't have happened. I should've been smarter to not even put myself in that position. That's just my goal from here on out, never put myself in that type of position again."Have 49ers talked to you about a support you'll have inside the organization you'll have?
Cox: "I will. I would want to talk to any rookie who came in, any first-year player, second-year player, whoever needed help about a situation like that. I wouldn't mind taking my time out to help anybody."Did you watch many of the 49ers game last year?
Cox: "I did. I had a couple teammates. Kendall Hunter, I played with him in college, so I have to keep up with him. And the rest of it, the NFC championship game, I kept up with everything. But it was kind of tough for me to watch football and not playing the game of football. But I caught what I can. "