Less than two hours before the free agency period of the 2012 offseason was officially underway, the 49ers added to the roster once again, this time signing cornerback Perrish Cox to a two-year deal.
Cox, 25, was out of football during the 2011 season after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft (No. 137 overall) by the Denver Broncos.
Like wide receiver Randy Moss who signed with the 49ers Monday night, Cox was free to sign with any team prior to Tuesday's free agency period at 1 p.m. PT.
And just as Moss was signing his contract, Cox was having dinner with team ownership and general manager Trent Baalke to discuss potentially signing one of his own.
Cox appreciated the face-to-face time with his future employers.
"I want to thank everybody for giving me the chance to actually express myself to them and to go out and have dinner with the owners and the GM so they can figure out what kind of guy I am," Cox said in a conference call with the Bay Area media, a short time after signing with the 49ers. "I've worked hard through this whole process."
After doing their homework on Cox and spending quality time with the talented player, the 49ers came away with a great impression.
"We are pleased to add Perrish to our team," Baalke said in a team-issued press release. "As an organization, from ownership on down, we have done our due diligence and are confident that Perrish will be a positive contributor to the 49ers, as well as our community."
In San Francisco, the 6-foot, 198-pound cornerback will be reunited with secondary coach Ed Donatell, who mentored Cox when the two were part of the Broncos organization in 2010.
"We had a great relationship," said Cox, who started in nine games as a rookie, totaling 54 tackles, two forced fumbles and one interception. "He always had faith in me... He taught me everything when I was with the Broncos."
Cox, who led all rookies in 2010 with 14 pass breakups, also values the mentoring relationship he has with perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey, who he stayed in contact with during his year-off from the game.
Besides seeking guidance from Bailey, Cox worked out diligently back home in Waco, Texas, under the careful watch of his trainer, who happens to be his father. Cox also enjoyed the company of friends and family, most notably his kids.
After going through the experience of being away from football, Cox has vowed to make the most of his new opportunity with the 49ers.
"I will show the community, the coaches and the team the person that I can be," he said.
Cox has also promised to share wisdom from his experiences with his young teammates, some of which he already knows.
The former Oklahoma State Cowboy defensive back who led the nation in pass breakups in 2009, said he followed 49ers games last season to keep tabs on rookie running back Kendall Hunter, who he called a teammate in college.
"I had to keep up with him," said Cox, who quickly noted: "It was tough for me to watch, not being able to play the game."
Now that he's back in the league, Cox said he's not looking to force his way into a starting position, but rather work his way towards whatever role the team needs.
"I'm thankful for the chance," Cox said. "Now it's time to prove it."