49ers Shawntae Spencer newest corner Saints may entertain


It appears the San Francisco 49ers and cornerback Shawntae Spencer will part ways at some point this off-season as Spencer has been granted permission to seek a trade away from the team.

Last season Spencer battled multiple injuries (hamstring, hyper-extended toe) and was eventually buried on the depth chart by
Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver and Tramaine Brock.

This of course after Spencer spent most of the preseason slotted as the teams starter in 2011, after starting 32 consecutive games from 2009 to 2010.

He was a second round pick of the 49ers out of the University of Pittsburgh — starting 72 games in his first seven seasons with the club — recording 345 tackles, 11 interceptions, and 58 pass deflections over his career.

Spencer is set to make a $3.3 million dollar base salary in 2012, a price tag a bit to steep for the 49ers to pay their “fifth” corner on the roster.

The Saints could be in the marker for a few good cornerbacks.

Starter Tracy Porter will be a free agent this year, and while he is a serviceable starter, the Saints may not have the money to sign him to the long term deal he desires.

Quarterback Drew Brees is expected to receiver a large contract at some point this season, or at worst get the franchise tag, and the Saints are still hopeful they can sign both guard Carl Nicks and receiver Marques Colston to long term contracts.

Porter began to see action as the teams nickel corner last season when Patrick Robibnson was inserted in the lineup alongside Jabari Greer as a starter.

Robinson seems the better fit in new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense as he is just as good in coverage as Porter, but a much better tackler.

Leigh Torrence, the teams fourth corner, has been with the Saints since Gregg Williams took over the defense in 2009.

Torrence is said to be “Williams Guy”, and now that Gregg has gone to the Rams, Torrence is likely done with the Saints.

Last years third round pick Johnny Patrick also should figure more prominently into the teams rotation of corners next season.

Spencer could provide valuable depth in the Saints secondary — a necessity in today’s NFL — and while he may not be targeted as a starter could assume the nickel role should Robinson become the teams full time starter in 2012.