Why 49ers’ Allowed Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox To Hit Free-Agency

Mark Humphrey/AP

Mark Humphrey/AP

The San Francisco 49ers have roughly $17 million in salary cap space so why aren’t they trying to lock up one of their two starting cornerbacks from last season? 49ers GM Trent Baalke told CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, “Just because you have money doesn’t mean you’re going to spend it foolishly,” Baalke said. “You have to address needs and we’re into free agency now.”


The team made a splash in free-agency with the addition by subtraction at the wide receiver position. The team signed WR Torrey Smith to a five-year deal but cut WR Stevie Johnson with WR Michael Crabtree not far behind.

Norm Hall/Getty Images

Norm Hall/Getty Images

The team has money as it freed up $8 million due to ILB Patrick Willis’ abrupt retirement but I believe they are preparing to let both CB Chris Culliver and CB Perrish Cox walk. Why? I believe Baalke truly believes in the players he drafted.

49ers.com

49ers.com

Six-year veteran CB Tramaine Brock will lock down one side but who will be the other? My guess would be last year’s fourth-round pick CB Dontae Johnson. A 6-2, 200, cornerback, ‘DJ’ had a solid rookie season as he recorded 34 tackles, one interception (TD), and six pass break-ups. And while he had his ups and downs, he did show flashes of being a capable starter in the NFL.

But the question still remains, will Baalke bring back Cox or Culliver?

You’re guess is as good as mine but the way things are looking, I believe they are prepared to move on without them one way or another.

Not to mention, the 49ers defensive scheme does not need a true shutdown corner as they play a cover-2 while fielding an elite front seven, I believe Baalke would rather invest that money elsewhere…say pass-rusher?

With the NFL draft just right around the corner, it will be interesting to see what they do as Baalke tries to find capable NFL starting cornerbacks in a weak cornerback draft class.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.

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