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Niners' secondary could be worth worrying about

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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By Dan Arkush

Our Niners insiders believe the current state of the team's secondary is cause for more than a little concern. For starters (literally), both of the Niners' first-team corners — RCB Shawntae Spencer and LCB Nate Clements — have been nowhere to be seen so far this offseason.

Word is Spencer is staying away because he is unhappy with his contract situation. In the case of Clements, who had arguably been considered the most conscientious Niner in previous offseasons, we hear he continues to harbor resentment over being benched last season before suffering a season-ending broken right shoulder blade and is opting to work out on his own in Arizona for the time being. Even though teammate Michael Lewis, who has been keeping in touch with Clements, has told our sources that Clements is in outstanding shape, the potential for problems in the pass defense has been hard to ignore.

"The secondary could be a real Achilles' heel," said one insider. "It continued to give up a lot of passing yards last season, which has been a trend for the last decade, and it's just not a good thing to have both your starting corners off somewhere else."

It's also worth noting that Taylor Mays, the Niners' second-round draft pick whom many expected to seriously challenge Lewis for the starting strong safety job, appears to have been a relative nonfactor up to now. "It is surprising that he hasn't gotten many snaps at all," the insider said. "I'm not sure what is going on with him."

 

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