ESPN Sun, 10/16/2011 3:19 PM
Nate Clements blocked a late field goal try that would have tied the game, and Carlos Dunlap returned a Colts fumble 35 yards for the clinching score Sunday, helping the Cincinnati Bengals hold on for a 27-17 victory that kept Indianapolis winless. Read more...
ESPN Thu, 07/28/2011 2:17 PM
The San Francisco 49ers have cut ties with cornerback Nate Clements. Read more...
Bleacher Report Thu, 01/13/2011 1:58 AM
Nate Clements has been a disappointment in San Francisco to say the least. He hasn't lived up to the $90 million contract the 49ers gave him in his free agent blockbuster deal. Clements has been nothing short of a liability.
With new head coach Jim Read more...
Bleacher Report Wed, 03/31/2010 12:57 AM
Once upon a time, the 49ers signed a high profile cornerback—no, not that one. This cornerback had been named to seven Pro-Bowls, was a five-time First-team All-Pro selection, and was the 1993 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The cornerback Read more...
Bleacher Report Sat, 05/23/2009 3:38 AM
The newest San Francisco 49er—cornerback Dré Bly—has played for a Super Bowl-winning St. Louis Rams team as a rookie in 1999, has been a two-time Pro Bowl selection for the Detroit Lions in 2003 and 2004, and has also led the Denver Broncos with five interceptions in 2007.
The 49er Faithful are buzzing with excitement about San Francisco's May 21, 2009 signing of Bly as a suitable replacement for the injured Walt Harris and there is a chance the 32-year old free agent could be a mainstay like the veteran Harris, shutdown corner Nate Clements who was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills, former New Orleans Saint Toi Cook or even solid cornerback/safety Marquez Pope who signed with the 49ers after playing with the Los Angeles Rams.
There may be a possibility Bly may be a one hit wonder like Deion Sanders and Rod Woodson when they came by in 1994 and 1997 respectively during their impressive careers.
But he also could be a one strike and your out free agent bust like Antonio Langham when the 49ers signed him away from the Baltimore Ravens in 1998.
Langham was a highly touted but controversial cornerback from the University of Alabama and was selected by the original Cleveland Browns with the 9th overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft.
He was the reason Alabama hadto forfeit most of the 1993 season because he secretly signed with an agent during the previous off-season, a major violation of NCAA regulations.
Langham also signed and submitted an application to enter the 1993 NFL Draft making him ineligible to play under NCAA rules, regardless of whether or not he signed with an agent.
Additionally, head coach Gene Stallings failed to inform both the SEC and the NCAA of his draft application leading to the Crimson Tide having to forfeit a total of eight wins and a tie from the 1993 football season.
As a talented cornerback with a 6'0" 187 lb frame, Langham was physically gifted and earned Defensive Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team honors with the Browns in 1994 and had his best year as a pro during the 1996 season when he intercepted five passes for 59 yards for the former Browns' who were now in Baltimore.
Langham is also the only player to have played for Cleveland before they became the Baltimore Ravens and returned to play for the expansion Browns franchise in 1999.
Some 49er fans remember Langham for starting six games, missing four weeks due to a left knee injury and recovering just in time to briefly appear in playoff games against the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons.
However, many remember the talented cornerback getting constantly burned for touchdowns by opposing quarterbacks because of the knee injury that eventually forced him out of action. He would play in a total of 11 games during the 1998 season with only one interception.
Versatile Darnell Walker who played both right and left cornerback would start all 16 regular season games and tied for the team lead with four interceptions.
Walker officially supplanted the former 1st round pick when Langham was not invited back to San Francisco for the 1999 season. That ended his unspectacular one year 49er career.
So before everybody thinks Dré Bly is the second coming, he could also be the next Antonio Langham.
The following slides are some of the successful veteran free agent cornerbacks the San Francisco 49ers have signed over the last 15 years. Read more...
Bleacher Report Thu, 05/21/2009 3:55 AM
After receiving news on the extent of Walt Harris's injury, Scott McCloughan wasted no time in trying to address depth issues at the cornerback position. According to local beat writer Matt Maiocco, the 49ers have scheduled to meet veteran corner Dre Bly on Thursday.
Bly, a two time pro bowler, has spent 10 years in the NFL and would bring a veteran presence to the cornerback position. During his ten years, Bly has played for the Rams, Lions, and Broncos. However, he never once had a year where he had more than 8 interceptions.
Like current 49er Nate Clements, Bly has developed a reputation on gambling for big plays. He has a tendency to depend on the free safety to cover the long ball and gamble on jumping the short routes to get an interception. Bly tends to depend on his instincts when making a play on the ball and focuses more on the route the reciever is running rather than the reciever himself.
While Bly has had some very good season in the league, he struggled with the Denver Broncos last season. Despite being matched up with all pro Champ Bailey, Bly only grabbed two interceptions all season. Some even believed that Bly was slowing down because of all of his time spent playing in the league.
However with Harris's injury happening so late in the free agency period, the 49ers were forced to look at cornerbacks that are not playing at a high level. Adding Dre Bly will add competition to the cornerback position and additional depth to the roster. In addition, the veteran can be a reliable backup in case a freak injury occurs in the lineup.
Bly joins a group that features two young cornerbacks and one elite corner. While Nate Clements will hold down the left cornerback spot, Bly will compete with Tarrell Brown, Shawntae Spencer, and most likely Reggie Smith for the right cornerback spot.
While Tarrell Brown has made some big plays last season, the coaching staff obviously do not have the confidence to put him as the starter since they were so quick to meet with Dre Bly after the Walt Harris injury.Shawntae Spencer, who has been a backup for most of his career, does not figure to be a serious contender for the starting job.
Many fans criticized the 49ers for saving money and not being aggressive in the early parts of free agency. However, it looks like the 49ers made a smart move by saving the money and using it to sign a reliable veteran after a devastating injury to one of their players. Read more...