SANTA CLARA — Thursday's visits by cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and safety Louis Delmas underscored the 49ers' intent on strengthening their pass defense.
Of course, that was the same interpretation a day earlier when the 49ers hosted veteran defensive back Charles Woodson.
“I'm just waiting on the Niners to get back to me,” Woodson's agent, Carl Poston, told 95.7 The Game. “It's just a matter as to what they want to do.”
Thus it appears the 49ers are both bargain shopping and playing the field, which may or may not include longtime Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, who got heavily recruited Thursday by the Houston Texans.
The 49ers defense lost a player in free agency for the third time in three days when Ricky Jean Francois, their top reserve linemen, struck a four-year, $22 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
That makes six players to leave the 49ers since their Super Bowl loss: quarterback Alex Smith, kicker David Akers, safety Dashon Goldson, tight end Delanie Walker, nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga and Jean Francois. Six others are unrestricted free agents, including wide receiver Randy Moss and return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. Asomugha's unfilled quest to play on a winning team has brought him back to the Bay Area for at least Thursday's visit to the 49ers.
Asomugha, a 10-year veteran cornerback, has yet to enjoy a winning season, including eight with the Raiders and the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. Even Asomugha's time at Cal were bathed in defeat: 3-8 in 2000, 1-10 in 2001, 7-5 in 2002.
Just like the start of his Raiders tenure in 2003, Asomugha would be joining a franchise that is coming off a Super Bowl loss, although the 49ers appear in much stronger shape than the Raiders a decade ago.
New Eagles coach Chip Kelly opted to cut ties with Asomugha on Tuesday, only two seasons after he signed a five-year, $60 million deal. Before Asomugha signed that deal, the 49ers pursued him, and they ended up signing Carlos Rogers to a one-year deal.