NFL free agency 2014: Some intriguing cornerback options for 49ers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Will Blackmon, Vontae Davis and oh yeah, Tarell Brown are among the top free agent options at cornerback, at least when the San Francisco 49ers are concerned.

How the San Francisco 49ers approach this offseason will be very interesting. On one hand, you have a team that's made it to three consecutive NFC Championship games and played in one Super Bowl. On the other hand, they've come up short in two of those NFC Championships and in the Super Bowl as well.

What we have is a team that's struggled early in games, and dug itself into a hole multiple times. The 49ers have been unable to finish games, and it's incredibly frustrating. I'm interested to see how much they try and keep everyone together or if they think that new people need to be brought in.

We're already taking a long look at each position on the team and what's going on with it, and I've decided we should take a look at how the free agent market is shaping at every position as well. The 49ers don't have a ton of cap space to work with, but they've always been creative in that vein. We're going to look at players that have a very, very outside chance of coming to San Francisco, but we're looking at them regardless.

Cornerbacks are one of the most scrutinized positions in the NFL. Outside of quarterbacks, I think the cornerbacks have their names called the most. On top of that, I think they have possibly the toughest job in the NFL. Wide receivers have a goal: beat cornerbacks. Cornerbacks have to read and react to so much more than other positions, and the athleticism required is nuts.

We already took a look at how the 49ers' cornerback position performed this past season, and that's pretty much directly related to free agency at this point. That's because Tarell Brown is set to be a free agent, and Carlos Rogers is making far, far too much money for what he provides.

First, let's take a brief look at the top guys on the market:

Alterraun Verner, Tennessee Titans
Aqib Talib, New England Patriots
Vontae Davis, Indianapolis Colts
Brent Grimes, Miami Dolphins
Chris Harris, Denver Broncos
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Denver Broncos
Captain Munnerlyn, Carolina Panthers
Walter Thurmond, Seattle Seahawks
Will Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
Drayton Florence, Carolina Panthers
Trumaine McBride, New York Giants
Rashean Mathis, Detroit Lions
Brandon Ghee, Cincinnati Bengals
Quentin Jammer, Denver Broncos

There are other free agents on the market, but those are the only ones that are ... at all interesting to me, personally. I think we can take guys like Verner or Talib off the list. They're both going to command top dollar and the 49ers just aren't going to pay that. Rodgers-Cromartie is also someone that should get a good amount of money, as will Harris, more than likely.

With the names that are left, though, there's some interesting guys to be sure. Vontae Davis is one of those guys. Some people take a look at the fact that he's Vernon Davis' brother and make the easy connection, but I think he makes a lot of sense. He's not going to command top dollar, but he's got all the tools to bounce back and play like one of the top corners in the league.

It would be nice to land one of the other guys, but really, I think one of the priorities will be to bring back Tarell Brown. He's set to hit free agency and I think he's just a better option for the 49ers than some of these other guys. Brown and Brock could be the starters, and Chris Culliver could be in the mix as well. Then you bring in a guy like Rashean Mathis, Captain Munnerlyn or something like that, and you might just have a solid group of corners.

Will Blackmon is one player that I'm interested in as well. He obviously went under the radar last season, but that's because, you know, he plays for the Jaguars. Blackmon is excellent in press coverage and I think he'd fit well in the 49ers' system. The more I think about it, Blackmon might actually make the most sense, especially from a scheme perspective.

What do you think? Will the 49ers make a splash when it comes to cornerbacks? Here is the full list of free agent cornerbacks, including the list above:

Michael Adams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Phillip Adams, Oakland Raiders
Javier Arenas, Arizona Cardinals
Aaron Berry, New York Jets
E.J. Biggers, Washington Redskins
Will Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
Zack Bowman, Chicago Bears
Tarell Brown, San Francisco 49ers
Nolan Carroll, Miami Dolphins
Antoine Cason, Arizona Cardinals
Chris Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Vontae Davis, Indianapolis Colts
Drayton Florence, Carolina Panthers
Dominique Franks, Atlanta Falcons
Brandon Ghee, Cincinnati Bengals
Danny Gorrer, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Corey Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
Brent Grimes, Miami Dolphins
DeAngelo Hall, Washington Redskins
Kelvin Hayden, Chicago Bears
Quentin Jammer, Denver Broncos
Mike Jenkins, Oakland Raiders
Elbert Mack, Houston Texans
Richard Marshall, San Diego Chargers
Rashean Mathis, Detroit Lions
Bryan McCann, Arizona Cardinals
Captain Munnerlyn, Carolina Panthers
William Middleton, San Diego Chargers
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Denver Broncos
Trumaine McBride, New York Giants
Sherrick McManis, Chicago Bears
Chris Owens, Miami Dolphins
Tracy Porter, Oakland Raiders
Dunta Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs
Aaron Ross, New York GiantsAsante Samuel, Atlanta Falcons
Sam Shields, Green Bay Packers
Aqib Talib, New England Patriots
Walter Thurmond III, Seattle Seahawks
Terrell Thomas, New York Giants
Charles Tillman, Chicago Bears
Cassius Vaughn, Indianapolis Colts
Alterraun Verner, Tennessee Titans
Josh Wilson, Washington Redskins
Eric Wright, San Francisco 49ers

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