“I just love everything the organization stands for,” the 10-year veteran told 49ers.com shortly after signing on to play with his third NFL franchise. “I wanted to come back, play for this team and get it done.”
Asomugha played his college ball across the Bay at the University of California and was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders where he spent the first eight seasons of his career. Following a two-year run with the Philadelphia Eagles, Asomugha has returned to Northern California with the 49ers.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound cornerback joins a talented 49ers defense coming off an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII.
Asomugha, 31, is the seventh member of San Francisco’s defense with Pro Bowl experience. The others are
Playing with so many respected competitors was very attractive to Asomugha and was one of the many reasons why he chose to sign with the 49ers in free agency.
In particular, San Francisco’s physical front seven on defense figures to complement his talents as he competes for a role in the secondary.
“It’s so important,” said the cornerback with 405 career tackles, 82 pass breakups and 15 interceptions in 154 games. “I was telling (the coaches) a couple weeks ago, I was excited about what they do with their front seven and how much pressure they get without really blitzing. When you have that type of talent it helps out any back end. It’s something I’m real excited about.”
Asomugha has been named an All-Pro four times in his career and comes to the 49ers eager to play in big games. He’s never been to the playoffs, nor has he played for a team that finished better than 8-8.
“We haven't talked about safety at all,” he said. “I’m playing corner.”
Asomugha will be a competitive one at that.
Following his two-year stint with the Eagles that saw him released in March, Asomugha is eager to prove there’s plenty of big performances left in his career.
He’s not looking to prove doubters wrong, but rather continue the swagger he’s played with for 10 seasons in the league.
“I’ve had a chip on my shoulder every year that I’ve played,” he said. “I think it’s bigger this year from the adversity I went through in Philadelphia.”
At the end of the day, Asomugha will immerse himself into the team’s way of business, dubbed by Jim Harabugh as “The Forty Niner Way.”
It certainly helped that Asomugha had a previous relationship with Harbaugh when both were part of the Raiders organization in 2003, Asomugha as a rookie and the 49ers head man working as a coaching assistant.
“I think the familiarity of being with a guy who was there with me and went through some of the things I went through spoke volumes,” Asomugha said. “When I met up with him a few weeks back, we were sharing stories so it was really good.”
Asomugha initially met with the 49ers at the start of free agency, mulled over his options and decided the Bay Area was where he wanted to be.
More importantly, it was the place he wanted to maximize his potential.
“I just want to compete,” Asomugha said. “I just want the best brought out of me on this team.
“My mindset is to come in and compete and be the best I can possibly be.”
Under Harbaugh and the 49ers coaching staff, he’ll certainly have the license to do just that.