49ers News: Nnamdi Asomugha wins No. 3 cornerback spot

The Nnamdi Asomugha that the 49ers signed this offseason is a far cry from the Pro-Bowl player that terrified quarterbacks across the league just three seasons ago. There were whispers that Asomugha wouldn't even make it through camp, but those were laid to rest Tuesday when Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio named Asomugha the team's No. 3 CB.

As an Oakland Raider, Asomugha was the a truly dominant defensive player, and arguably the best cornerback in the league. For the most part, quarterbacks didn't even bother throwing to his side of the field - in 30 games over the 2009 and 2010 seasons, opposing QBs only threw at Asomugha 54 times. In 2010, he went the entire year without giving up a single touchdown.

Everything changed when Asomugha signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. He looked slower and less aware, and quarterbacks went from avoiding him to targeting him. When he didn't restructure his 5-year, $60 million deal after the end of last season, the Eagles promptly released him.

Now 32, Asomugha is trying to prove he still has some mileage left. Injuries to Chris Culliver and Tramaine Brock have opened the door for Asomugha to get substantial playing time, and now he'll have to make the most of it. So far in the preseason, he's allowed just one catch for 5 yards through 39 plays, and the coaching staff has been impressed. A return to form for Asomugha would be found money for the 49ers, who already have a very good starting tandem in Carlos Rogers and Tarrell Brown.

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