Nate Clements has been widely regarded as a shutdown corner throughout his long and illustrious career. With Buffalo, he helped their defense become a strength along with Aaron Schobel for 5 great years in Buffalo. In 2007, San Francisco made the wise move of installing a franchise corner to help the defense slowly become what it is today: a top 10 tough-as-nails defense. He signed a seven year, $64 million contract, making him the highest paid player in NFL history until Albert Haynesworth signed his $100 million contract. For the first two and a half years, it looked like he was earning every penny of it, too. His career stats of 622 tackles, 30 interceptions, 2.5 sacks, 91 pass deflections, 17 forced fumbles, and 5 pick sixes all scream Pro Bowler, and he is only 30 years old, so he has at least 3 more years of excellence, barring injury, before he goes downhill (or Renterizes, for all you McCoven present here). I know he struggled in that later half of 09, capped off by the punt return fumble and subsequent injury, but everyone, especially corners, have rough spots. His benching was just a message that Singletary was trying to send him, and I think Clements got it. This offseason and Training Camp will be pivotal for him, but I am positive he'll return to form, snagging Int's, deflecting passes left and right, forcing fumbles and delivering hits, and just being the all-around force the team paid him to be. The niners shouldn't start trying to trade Clements for peanuts (like a 3rd rounder) because it will backfire on them and he'll do great for another team. Unless another team offers a 1st rounder and multiple players with potential, he will be our ace corner until 2014. Don't give up on him yet! And please stop suggesting a move to safety, because that's just illogical this late in a career. Why mess with a guy at the top of his game?
Do you think Clements will bounce back?
Yes. 3 weeks of struggle and an injury is not enough for me to deal him for a 3rd round pick. (102 votes)
Get him out of here! We'll be lucky to get a 4th rounder for him. He's done. (15 votes)
He's not our #1 anymore, but he'll be nice to have around as a veteran presence. (104 votes)
221 total votes