Tarell Brown is leaving the 49ers but won't have to go far.
The 49ers' starting cornerback for the last three seasons signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Raiders, who will host their Bay Area rivals in Oakland later this year. The 49ers remained in contact with Brown's agent, Joel Segal, over the week, but the two sides never could settle on a deal. Segal also represents Seattle free-agent cornerback Walter Thurmond, who visited San Francisco today.
Brown's departure means that the entire secondary the 49ers assembled in 2011 is likely gone. One safety, Dashon Goldson, signed with the Buccaneers last year while the other, Donte Whitner, is now in Cleveland. The 49ers cut cornerback Carlos Rogers Tuesday. He remains un-signed.
Brown follows the path of Shawntae Spencer, a cornerback who played eight seasons in San Francisco before joining the Raiders in 2012. Spencer did not play last season.
Brown was fifth-round pick in 2007. He was the team's starter at right cornerback the last three seasons, although a rib injury caused him to miss the last six games of the regular season. That allowed Tramaine Brock to take over as a starter. The 49ers gave Brock a four-year contract extension soon thereafter and Brock promises to be one of the cornerback starters in September. Chris Culliver, who is on schedule to fully recover from an ACL injury, is the frontrunner at the other spot.
As Brown was signing his one-year deal with Oakland, Chris Cook was signing a one-year contract for the 49ers. Like Jonathan Martin and Blaine Gabbert before him, Cook - who spent four, often rocky seasons in Minnesota - said he was looking forward to "revamping my career" with the 49ers. "I feel rejuvenated now that I've signed my contract," he said.
Cook, who is 6-2, 212 pounds, said the 49ers "want me to be the press guy. And that's what I like to do. I feel like I'll fit in well with the one-high (safety) scheme that they like to run. I came from a two-high scheme. And I feel like a one-high scheme and a man-to-man scheme fits me well."
The arch-rival Seahawks, of course, specialize in that one-high-safety concept. Asked if he felt he bore any similarities to Seattle's tall, long-limbed man-to-man specialist, Richard Sherman, Cook said, "He's a great player, and I respect his game a lot. We have similar body types and stuff like that. But other than that, I don't really compare myself to him."
Said Cook: "I'm just coming in to do my job to the best of my ability and help the team continue on a winning path."
- Matt Barrows