Even a team with 11 draft picks can not satisfy all its needs. One glaring need was left largely unaddressed during last weekend’s draft – cornerback. It’s possible the team could lose both of its starting cornerbacks by the end of the 2013 season. Carlos Rogers will be 33 by the start of the 2014 season, and his cap figure balloons to over $8 million that year, with his salary edging up to $6.25 million. Such a salary is difficult to justify if Rogers can’t maintain Pro Bowl caliber play. Already last season, Rogers struggled with quicker receivers in the slot. Additionally, the 49ers might be unable to keep fellow starting cornerback Tarell Brown, who is in the last year of his contract. With new contracts looming for linebacker Aldon Smith and quarterback Colin Kaepernick, it might be impossible to make a sincere offer to Brown, who is likely to fetch multi-million offers in free agency. Chris Culliver shows promise, and was the team’s best cover man at mid-season. However, how will he survive the increased scrutiny brought on by homophobic comments at the Super Bowl and by highlighting a comment on his twitter account that referred to women who cheated in their relationships as “bitches and ho’s” Culliver will not only have to play with a self-imposed cloud over his head, but he’ll also have to realize TMZ and other organizations will scour every tweet and instagram for anything about him that’s even slightly untoward. One more incident and the 49ers will be under pressure to release or trade him.
49ers could be vulnerable at cornerback in 2014
San Francisco Chronicle | May 4