Rogers on Asomugha: 'He's gonna have a big role'
Carlos Rogers started every game the past two seasons, but could have increased competition for playing time with the addition of Nnamdi Asomugha. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers are returning the majority of their starting defenders, including their top five cornerbacks from a year ago. And while nine-year veteran Carlos Rogers is aware there will be significant competition at his position, he's not too concerned.
"I'm told I'm the starter," said Rogers, who took the field for the first day of OTAs with the starting 11. "I feel I'm the left corner on this team, and I'm going to start on this team."
Rogers has started every game the past two seasons alongside Tarell Brown, but the addition of 11-year veteran Nnamdi Asomugha makes things interesting. Despite speculation that Asomugha can no longer run with NFL wideouts, Rogers is expecting the former Raider and Cal Bear to make a legitimate impact.
"He's going to have a big role," Rogers said. "They brought him in for a reason. There's going to be competition at the corner spot. So it's left up to however it plays out.
"But he's going to have a big role, we didn't bring him in to sit on the bench."
At this point, it's unclear how the depth chart will fill out. Also in the fold are Chris Culliver, Tramaine Brock and Perrish Cox.
[NOTES: Caveat for Super Bowl L, pacing Harbaugh, etc.]
By being on the roster on April 1, $1.24 million of Rogers' scheduled $5.85 million pay for the 2013 season became fully guaranteed. Meanwhile, none of Asomugha's reported $1.35 million contract is guaranteed. Brown is scheduled to make $3.5 million this year. Culliver, who had a strong second year as the No. 3 cornerback before Super Bowl comments and play dinged his season's image, is scheduled to received $555,000 in the third year of his rookie contract. And the 49ers tendered restricted free agent Tramaine Brock at $1.323 million.
All Pro safety Dashon Goldson left a significant hole at the safety position, and Rogers had plenty of good things to say about first-round draft pick Eric Reid, who will compete with seven-year veteran Craig Dahl for the starting position.
"Just from working out the few times we have, he's real impressive," Rogers said of Reid. "In the classroom, he speaks and talks a lot, pretty much knows what's going on from what the coaches have taught him. I've been watching him in college, and if he can take that same intensity, that same work ethic and that same play that he had in college and bring it here, he's not going to miss a beat."