A cornerback market that once was rich in quality cover men only has a few names left. One of them, Redskins free agent Carlos Rogers, is drawing interest from the 49ers, according to a league source. Washington drafted Rogers (6-0, 190) ninth overall out of Auburn in 2005. He took over as a regular starter the following season.
The 49ers finished 24th in pass defense last season and then lost their top cornerback, Nate Clements, when he signed with the Bengals. According to national reports, they were in the running for three high-profile cornerbacks on the free-agent market this year, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jonathan Joseph and Antonio Cromartie. Those players, however, ended up signing with the Eagles, Texans and Jets respectively.
The team also had shown interest in cornerback Chris Carr, who re-signed with the Ravens. As of now, there are only a few options remaining on the free-agent market, including Rogers. He started 12 games last season with the Redskins, finishing with 54 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble. The team has not contacted former Colts cornerback Kelvin Hayden, according to Hayden's agent.
Clements signed an eight-year, $80 million deal with the 49ers in 2007 but his level of play never matched the size of his contract. Rogers, meanwhile, is well-versed in man-to-man coverage but his hands - he's dropped a number of would-be interceptions -- have been a recurring theme in the Washington, D.C. region. The Carolina Panthers, who lost starting cornerback Richard Marshall in free agency, also have shown interest in Rogers, according to the Gaston Gazette.
Another highly regarded cornerback who may be available is Philadelphia's Asante Samuel, 30. The Eagles acquired both Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the last week, which might prompt them to trade Samuel, a four-time pro bowl selection.
The Mercury News reported that running back Frank Gore, a training-camp holdout heretofore, arrived at team headquarters today as expected. Gore, who has a shot at becoming the team's all-time leading rusher this season, will address the media Tuesday. The 49ers are not practicing today.
-- Matt Barrows