The two players who started at cornerback for the 49ers last season now are leading candidates for starting jobs in Oakland, with Carlos Rogers on Monday following Tarell Brown to the Raiders via free agency.
Rogers, who turns 33 on July 2, started all 48 regular-season games for the 49ers the past three seasons. He has started all but 10 of the games that he played during his nine NFL seasons, the first six with the Washington Redskins.
The 49ers parted ways with Rogers in a cost-cutting move. He was slated to earn $6.6 million in base salary and bonuses in 2014. The 49ers saved $5.1 million in salary cap room by cutting Rogers.
Brown and Rogers are expected to compete for the starting spots vacated by Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter, both of whom signed elsewhere soon after free agency began March 11.
"We're two older guys that can bring experience, can bring leadership, can bring a lot of stuff to the table," Rogers said in a conference call. " ... We were a big part of the puzzle that turned San Francisco's defense around, so hopefully we can translate that over here and be even better."
Former first-round draft pick D.J. Hayden gives the Raiders another viable option, though he struggled as a rookie last season and showed that he has work to do before he can be counted upon on an every-down basis.
Rogers is the kind of player that Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver covets because of Rogers' versatility. Rogers has the ability to play outside or inside on the slot receiver in nickel coverage, and h--e excels in any kind of coverage.
"I'm going to have a big opportunity to compete on the outside for a starting spot as a corner," Rogers said. "My biggest role is going to be making sure I've got all the nickel stuff down."
Rogers is the fifth free agent signed by the Raiders this offseason who has a chance to win a starting job in 2014. He joins defensive linemen Justin Tuck and Antonio Smith, linebacker LaMarr Woodley and Brown.
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