Nnamdi Asomugha competes for playing time, contract incentives

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We take a look at Nnamdi Asomugha's contract, and what playing time will mean for him this season.

The San Francisco 49ers have a pretty sizable cornerback competition going on with Nnamdi Asomugha and Tramaine Brock competing for playing time, with Perrish Cox lurking. The 49ers have significant playing time available in the wake of Chris Culliver's injury, but given that we've seen strong performances from all three players, it is entirely possible we see a rotation behind Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers.

While this could help keep the 49ers secondary fresh, it will not help Nnamdi Asomugha's pocketbook. When Nnamdi signed his one-year contract, it included no guaranteed money, up to $1.35 million in base salary and roster bonuses, and then another $1.225 million in various incentives.

If Nnamdi makes the 49ers roster, he earns $225,000, and then opens the door for $6,250 per week he is active. The $1.35 million is not "easy" to earn, but it's very realistic he'll cover the entire amount. The $1.225 million in bonuses are going to be very tough to earn. Former NFL agent Joel Corry provided a quick rundown of Nnamdi's incentives:

The 70% playing time will be all but impossible to earn if he does not secure a starting job ahead of Carlos Rogers or Tarell Brown.

If Nnamdi is the third cornerback, he is coming in on nickel, dime and other extra DB defenses. Last year, Isaac Sopoaga played nose tackle in the 49ers base defense, and then left the field when they moved out of that base. He played in 31.42% of the team's total defensive snaps, and that number came in spite of missing a game. Based on his averages, Sopoaga would have been in on approximately 34% of the total snaps if he had not missed the Jets game.

This is not any sort of exact calculation, but even as an estimation, it seems almost impossible to hit that 70% mark without working his way into the base defense. And if he's not in that base defense, the Pro Bowl and All-NFL honors are not much easier. I suppose a solid year makes the Pro Bowl a little easier, but All-NFL would be tough. Four interceptions is a reasonable possibility, but will require some work by Nnamdi.

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