After watching the defense become the mainstay of the team last season, the 49ers aimed to keep it that way Tuesday by bolstering their secondary on the first day free agents could sign.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers, who tied for the team lead with six interceptions, is remaining in San Francisco with a reported four-year deal that could reach $34.1 million, according to NFL.com.
That move came after the 49ers gave a two-year deal to Perrish Cox, who was released from the Denver Broncos and did not play in 2011 allegedly for legal issues.
The signing of Rogers — a Pro Bowl selection who ranked sixth on the 49ers with 43 tackles — means all 11 starters from one of the NFC’s top defenses last season returns intact. Rogers’ six picks tied him with Dashon Goldson.
Cox — who technically signed before players who just recently became free agents were eligible to — said he would not put himself in position to gather attention off the field.
Cox was acquitted this month on sexual assault charges, with the allegations stemming from an alleged incident in 2010 at a party at his house.
When the Broncos released him last year, the team said the move was performance-related, not tied to his legal entanglement.
While Cox said Tuesday that he “just wants everyone involved in [the case] to go on with their lives” and he acknowledged that he put himself in a bad position.
“[I was] humbled,” Cox said. “It was a nervous and scary situation for me. But like I said, I don’t blame anybody but myself. I take full responsibility for my actions. I’ll never put myself in that position again.”
Niners general manager Trent Baalke said the team felt secure that Cox would not get into trouble off the field.
“We are pleased to add Perrish to our team,” Baalke said in a statement. “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.”
Cox started in nine of the 15 games he played in as a rookie for the Broncos in 2010, when he had 55 tackles, 14 passes defensed, an interception and two forced fumbles. The fifth-round draft pick will be reunited with 49ers secondary coach Ed Donnatell, who worked with him in Denver.
COSTANZO A GONE-ZO
Niners special teams ace Blake Costanzo, who was a Pro Bowl alternate, will not be back with the team, accoring to CSNBayArea.com. Costanzo, who also is a linebacker, signed to a two-year deal reportedly worth $2 million with the Chicago Bears.
A day after signing receiver Randy Moss, the 49ers lost a receiver when Josh Morgan agreed to a five-year, $12 million deal that will void to two years with the Washington Redskins. Morgan had 15 catches and 220 yards receiving for the Niners last year before suffering a season-ending broken leg in Week 5.