Two years later, the 49ers are adding cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to their roster at a significantly lower cost -- and with significantly lower expectations.
The 49ers and Asomugha on Tuesday agreed to terms on a contract, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
49ers reached agreement on a one-year deal with former Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 2, 2013
CB Nnamdi Asomugha is signing a 1-yr deal with 49ers worth $1.35 million in base salary, but get this: He didn't want ANY guaranteed money.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 2, 2013
After two disappointing seasons, the Eagles released Asomugha on March 11. He visited the 49ers three days later. Asomugha spent his first eight seasons with the Raiders and was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team in each of his final three seasons in Oakland.
Asomugha (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) brings some size to the 49ers' stable of cornerbacks. Asomugha, 31, a 10-year veteran, is expected to compete for a job against a group of five returners at that position for the 49ers. And that is the only thing the 49ers have guaranteed him: The right to compete for a job.
[REWIND: The potential competition at cornerback]
"That message is resonated loud and clear from our organization any time we make an acquisition," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke told CSNBayArea.com two weeks ago at the owners meetings in Arizona. "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."
How Asomugha fits into the 49ers will play itself out over the course of the offseason and training camp. Coach Jim Harbaugh also believes in creating an atmosphere of competition. So Asomugha -- or anyone else -- must earn his role.
Starters Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown return, along with third cornerback Chris Culliver, who played 63 percent of the 49ers' defensive snaps last season. Reserve Tramaine Brock was tendered at $1.323 million as a restricted free agent, and dime back Perrish Cox also remains under contract.
The 49ers finished fourth-best in the NFL last season in pass defense, and allowed a passer rating of just 78.0. But the 49ers' pass defense struggled in the playoffs. Yards per pass attempt against the 49ers rose from 6.1 in the regular season to 8.2 in the playoffs. And opposing quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco combined for a passer rating of 109.5 with eight touchdowns and two interceptions.
The 49ers were among the teams interested in Asomugha after the lockout of 2011. Asomugha signed a blockbuster deal with the Eagles. The 49ers, in turn, signed Carlos Rogers to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.
Rogers parlayed his Pro Bowl season into a four-year, $29 million contract, which he signed in March 2012.
The 49ers are not forced to do anything with Rogers' contract for the upcoming season. Rogers is scheduled to make $5.85 million in salary this season, which is not considered a steep of a price for a starting cornerback.
According to Pro Football Focus, opposing quarterbacks completed 66.7 percent of their passes and had 120.6 rating when targeting Asomugha last season.