It wasn't long ago that Nnamdi Asomugha was considered the preeminent shutdown cornerback in the NFL. A promotion to the No. 3 spot on the depth chart, which is what the former Pro Bowler received from the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday, was not something you would have expected to hear about just a few seasons back.
Nevertheless, the 32-year-old Asomugha will still be playing a significant role in the team's secondary after being named to the nickel position by defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
After a disappointing year with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012, Asomugha has played well enough in his new team's preseason slate to jump Tramaine Brock on the depth chart. Brock has been battling an injury over the past few weeks, and Asomugha has taken full advantage of the increased playing time. In his three exhibition appearances, the veteran has allowed just one catch for five yards in 39 passing plays, according to Pro Football Focus.
Asomugha emerged as one of the top corners in the league during his eight years with the Oakland Raiders, where he piled up three Pro Bowls and two first-team All-Pro selections. In 2011 he signed a five-year, $60 million deal with the Eagles. However, the aging Asomugha was unable to consistently show the form that once made him a lockdown defender, and was released this past offseason after two seasons with the team. He signed a one-year deal with the 49ers in April.