Matt Miacco's article on the 49er's free agents mentioned that they were more interested in keeping Dre Bly than Walt Harris or Nate Clements and that if the 49ers do keep Clements they would want him to take a pay cut. Clements has been one of my favorite 49ers the last few years, I love the way he attacks the offense and I think his coverage is under-rated. He's been in man coverage with the other teams top receiver most of the time he's been on the field for the 49ers and while he has been posterized a few times (most notably by Randy Moss), for the most part he's won his battles. He really excels against big physical receivers, but seems to have problems against receivers with elite speed. With his size, speed and skill set I think he would excel as a strong safety. At six feet, 205 he's a little on the small side to play SS, but he's shown that he can tackle anybody and I don't see him having a problem covering tight ends. Michael Lewis is a such a liability in coverage that Clements would be a huge upgrade at that position and even though I like the tackles for loss in the run game that Lewis provides, I think Clements is a better open field tackler. Even if the 49ers lose Walt Harris they would still have three CBs that are capable starters in Shawnte Spencer, Dre Bly and Terrel Brown. I could see a starting secondary of Spencer and Brown at corners, Clements at SS, Goldson at FS and Bly as a nickle corner as one of the best in the league. Bly at Nickle isn't a knock on his skills, I just think he really excels there because he can freelance more. I see him as more of a gambler and play maker than Brown.
All of this would of course be contingent on Clements and the 49ers coming to terms on his contract, but going into an uncapped year if the 49ers let a talent like Clements walk over money it will say a lot about the ownerships commitment to winning.