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The move that puts us over the top....

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The move that puts us over the top....

Postby MadScott » Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:07 am

Niners acquire CB Middlebrooks from Denver for DE Engelberger

Friday, July 15, 2005

(07-15) 16:28 PDT Santa Clara, Calif. (AP) --

The San Francisco 49ers acquired cornerback Willie Middlebrooks from the Denver Broncos on Friday for defensive end John Engelberger.

The deal swaps two young defensive players who had fallen out of favor on their original teams.

Middlebrooks, the Broncos' first-round selection in 2001, was a disappointment in Denver, never earning a regular starting job in four seasons. He will join Ahmed Plummer and Shawntae Spencer in the 49ers' improved defensive secondary.

"It's my hope that he would at least be a third ... corner for us," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said. "We're hoping he competes for the second, even the first spot. We haven't had a lot of durability at the position, as well as continuity."

Middlebrooks faces misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault and harassment in the Denver suburb of Aurora, stemming from an alleged fight with a female friend early on New Year's Day. A trial is scheduled for Oct. 11, but Nolan said the 49ers had no qualms about Middlebrooks' character.

"He certainly made a bad choice in the one incident, but he certainly had no (negative) record prior to that," Nolan said.

Engelberger, a second-round draft pick in 2000, led the 49ers with six sacks last season, but was thought to be too small to play defensive end in San Francisco's new 3-4 scheme. Free agent Marques Douglas was signed in April to take Engelberger's starting job, and Engelberger missed the 49ers' minicamps with a wrist injury.

"We're in need of some depth in the secondary, and we do have a couple of extras where Engelberger was playing," Nolan said.


Another mediocre CB added to the mix. I liked Engleberger, he was one of those high motor guys. Not the worst move in the world I guess.
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Postby proKrastinate » Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:02 am

I dont think Engle would have been utilized much in our new 3-4 defensive scheme. Although he plays hard and is a good locker room presence, he is scheduled to make 1.265 in '05 and 1.75 in '06. This amount of money isn't huge, but for someone that isn't going to contribute on the field that much just because of the defense we run, its a lot more to pay than someone who adds depth to our questionable secondary and is only getting 1.275 over two years.

Middlebrooks last year of his contract is also voidable if he plays 40% of the downs. However, I don't know that this helps us all that much. If hes good enough to play 40% of the time, I wouldn't mind holding on to him cheaply for another year.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:28 pm

Bleh, the secondary probably doesn't scare a whole lot of teams. Middlebrooks is maybe a small step up from having a Mike Rumpf (aka Dumpf) in the nickel role. :-B

I thought Engelberger was decent...guess the front office didn't think that way.
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Postby MadScott » Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:16 am

Mercer Boy wrote:Bleh, the secondary probably doesn't scare a whole lot of teams. Middlebrooks is maybe a small step up from having a Mike Rumpf (aka Dumpf) in the nickel role. :-B



Hmm...this move actually makes more sense now. It pretty clearly delineates that Rumph is going to safety, a position that far better suits him, opposite Parrish. Maybe this wasn't such a ho-hum maneuver after all. With Plummer, Spencer and now Middlebrooks, it easily frees Rumph to make that transition.
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