This is the 27th in a series of scouting reports on key players who are expected to become free agents March 13, unless they are re-signed or franchised before then.
News: After making more than good on the one-year, $4.25 million deal he signed with the Niners last offseason with a career-high six interceptions and a starting berth on the NFC Pro Bowl squad, CB Carlos Rogers has made it clear that he would love to remain in San Francisco. Apparently looking for a four- or five-year deal, the 30-year-old Rogers has indicated he would be willing to take a discount to stay put. But he also has said he wants to be paid like a top-end cornerback. The 49ers have given FS Dashon Goldson the franchise tag, which would seem to make it easier to come to terms with Rogers.
Notes: Rogers tied Goldson for second in the NFC and fourth in the league with his six interceptions. Starting every game, he also registered 43 tackles, 18 passes defensed and one tackle for loss. In addition to making the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, he was named a second-team AP All-Pro. Rogers recorded an interception in three consecutive games, returning his theft against the Buccaneers in Week Five for a pick-six. He picked off Giants QB Eli Manning twice in Week 10, marking the first time in his seven-year career that he had multiple interceptions in a game.
Positives: Not only did Rogers seldom miss making interceptions this past season, which was a well-documented flaw in his previous six seasons with the Redskins, but he also was an extremely sure tackler. More importantly, he was like an extra coach on the field after learning the Niners' playbook inside and out, mastering the Niners' coverages and techniques, in addition to communicating very effectively with his teammates. He quickly became a personable go-to guy with the local media and earned rave reviews in the locker room.
Negatives: The numbers before Rogers came to the Bay Area don't lie. Entering last season, he had just eight interceptions in 82 career games and had established a reputation as having skillets for hands. There are some daily observers who believe Rogers might have had a career year last season and could be hard-pressed to maintain the same solid level of play he displayed in 2011. A red flag of sorts waved throughout the first half of the Niners' playoff loss to the Giants, when Rogers had considerable difficulty holding the dangerous Victor Cruz in check out of the slot.
Risk factor: Another sticking point worth keeping in mind is that the Niners could be very gun-shy about committing an exorbitant sum to a cornerback after getting burned badly back in 2007 when they spent an outlandish $80 million on free agent Nate Clements — especially a cornerback in Rogers who team insiders believe might not even be considered the team's best player at that position, with fellow starter Tarell Brown's stock rising at such a rapid clip.