The San Francisco 49ers have some question marks at cornerback heading into free agency, with Carlos Rogers a potential cap casualty, and Tarell Brown possibly negotiating, or maybe just waiting to hit the market. Anything is possible at this point. If those two end up departing, the 49ers will find themselves in need of some help at the position.
One player brought up repeatedly is Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis. Vernon's brother put together a strong 2013 campaign, and there was some speculation the Colts might place the franchise tag on him. They elected not to, and with the free agency negotiating period opening on Saturday, they still have not come to terms on a long-term deal.
Davis is talented, but I also wonder if his relationship with Vernon helps boost him in the minds of 49ers fans. He is a very legitimate option, but if this ends up as any sort of bidding war, I can't see the 49ers sticking around for long.
That being said, I spoke with Brad Wells from Stampede Blue, to get his thoughts on Davis as free agency approaches.
Vontae Davis has come a long way since his days in Miami. A guy who had character flags with the Dolphins has been squeaky clean in Indianapolis. While not a great or even a very good corner, he is strong in press coverage and can run with most receivers. Davis is also a good tackler, and isn't afraid of contact. He's not an especially bright player, and can get fooled. Not a playmaker either. He has only 4 INTs in two seasons. He never seems to make THE big play that changes a game. His best performance of the season was Week 7 against the Broncos, where he blanketed Demaryius Thomas most of the night.
I really could see the 49ers at least inquiring into his services, but it will come down to what the market dictates on price. Over the last three years, the 49ers have not been ones to get overly aggressive early in free agency. They have slow-played free agency with solid success. They've had their share of big hits, but they've also had some solid under the radar guys make big contributions.
Davis strikes me as a guy who will find big money fairly early in the process. I can't say that with absolute certainty, but if that turns out to be the case, I think we can say with some certainty that the 49ers will not be that team. This team is more inclined to look for wholesale discounts, rather than pay retail prices when it comes to players on the open market. They reward their own guys, but they also have generally done that before they hit the market where there might be an ugly price adjustment. If they can get Davis at a reasonable deal, then OK. But if it turns into anything remotely resembling a bidding war, the 49ers would have to be pretty high on Davis to even consider it.