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News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 31, 2014
A cornerback leader? Carlos Rogers signs with Raiders; Champ Bailey still an option


****UPDATE**** The Raiders announced they have signed Carlos Rogers. The deal is for one year. The 49ers will visit the Raiders this season.

The Raiders, who signed one former 49ers cornerback, Tarell Brown, earlier this month, are looking at another. FOX Sports' Colleen Dominguez reports that Carlos Rogers will visit Oakland today.

Rogers and Brown were San Francisco's staring duo for the last three seasons with Rogers sliding inside to play slot cornerback when offenses used three or more wide receivers. They were part of the team's turnaround in 2011 with Rogers making his first Pro Bowl following a six-interception season.

What's also pertinent following cornerback Chris Culliver's arrest is that Rogers and Brown - especially Rogers - were long-time veterans who took on a leadership role inside the 49ers' locker room. Friday wasn't the first time Culliver, who allegedly struck a bicyclist with his car, fled the scene, threatened a witness with brass knuckles then struck the witnesses' car as he fled again, showed a lack of judgment and maturity.

He famously made disparaging remarks about gays in the run-up to last year's Super Bowl. He also was chastised a year ago after posting an Instagram conversation in which women were referred to as "bitch" and "hoes." The 49ers issued a statement from general manager Trent Baalke at the time saying, "We are aware of the matter, and it is being handled internally."

Three other cornerbacks on the team -- Eric Wright, Perrish Cox and Chris Cook -- also have had well-publicized run-ins with the law. Wright was twice arrested for DUI in Los Angeles. The first case was dismissed. He also was suspended for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs.

While a member of the Broncos in 2010, Cox was charged with felonious sexual assault. He was found not-guilty two years later and has not had any incidents since. Cook, meanwhile, was acquitted in 2012 of charges he assaulted his girlfriend the year prior. He was arrested after that incident and suspended 10 games by the Vikings. Earlier in 2011, he was accused of pulling a gun on a neighbor, but was ultimately found not guilty in the incident. Cook also was ejected from a game Dec. 1 after pushing an official.

All of which is to suggest that the 49ers could use a veteran like Rogers, 32, in the cornerback meeting room. Another option is ex- Redskin and -Bronco Champ Bailey, who has been the epitome of professionalism over a 16-year career that has included 12 Pro Bowls. Bailey played well in 2012, he has recovered from the foot injury that hindered him in 2013, and he wants to play for a team that has a chance at a Super Bowl title.

Bailey, 35, also spends his offseasons training in Southern California. He's had a few visits during free agency but has not yet had any interest from the 49ers.

- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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