Asomugha remains option as Baalke builds 49ers' roster

Asomugha remains option as Baalke builds 49ers' roster
March 19, 2013, 4:00 pm
Share This Post
Nnamdi is someone we're considering, as well as a lot of other players. We had a great visit when he came in.
—49ers GM Trent Baalke

PHOENIX -- A week after the initial league-wide spending spree of free agency, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke does not view the team's roster as a finished product.

Not even close.

"We're not done building this football team for the 2013 season," Baalke told CSNBayArea.com on Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. "We've really just begun."

The 49ers filled one hole at kicker with an agreement with veteran Phil Dawson, formerly of the Cleveland Browns. But the 49ers fully expect to add other players -- veterans and rookies -- to strengthen the roster and build competition in the coming weeks and months. The 49ers also signed wide receiver Marlon Moore, who caught six passes for 116 yards and one touchdown with the Miami Dolphins last season.

No team in the NFL has more ability to wheel and deal during the draft in late-April. The 49ers have 14 picks, including five selections within the first 93 spots in the draft. And with approximately $5 million in salary-cap room, the 49ers can still add veteran players, too.

The 49ers remain a possible landing spot for veteran cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who visited the club last week after being released by the Philadelphia Eagles.

"Nnamdi is someone we're considering, as well as a lot of other players," Baalke said. "We had a great visit when he came in."

Veteran players, such as Asomugha, take a physical and meet with Baalke and the coaching staff. Those players get to speak with the coaches about the scheme and how they would fit into the 49ers' system.

"They leave with an understanding of what their role might be," Baalke said. "There are a lot of things to process with a veteran player, especially at the stage of their careers that some of these guys are at."

The 49ers' top five cornerbacks from last season are in line to return. Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox are under contract. Tramaine Brock was tendered as a restricted free agent.

If Asomugha and the 49ers come to a contract agreement, Asomugha would join the 49ers with no guarantees of a starting job or playing time, Baalke suggested.

"That message is resonated loud and clear from our organization any time we make an acquisition," said Baalke, the NFL's Executive of the Year in 2011. "It's still about competition. It's still about earning your role within that locker room, within our team.

"That's never going to change. We don't make promises. We don't make guarantees. We look at it like, 'We're bringing you in to compete. You will earn that role on this team through competition.' That's with every player."

The 49ers also met last week with veteran safety Charles Woodson, released by the Green Bay Packers in mid-February. Three days later, the 49ers signed free agent safety Craig Dahl, a starter last season with the St. Louis Rams. The 49ers lost starting free safety Dashon Goldson to a lucrative contract from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.

"The decision to bring in Craig does not rule out anything moving forward," Baalke said. "Craig understands that. We've got a position to fill. We got guys inside, within our own organization prior to signing Craig who will also be competing for that spot. And it's not to say we're not going to bring in another unrestricted free agent or draft picks or college free agents to compete for that spot, as well."

Baalke said the 49ers have not yet considered the possibility of moving Culliver, the third cornerback, who played a lot of safety at South Carolina before the 49ers invested a third-round pick on him in 2011.

"When we drafted him, we understood at that time, his versatility was an attraction to us," Baalke said. "Does that mean we'll be looking to him to move to that position? That has not been discussed at this point."

More Team Talk