SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 49ers will have to replace one of their starting cornerbacks in 2015. Free agent Chris Culliver will sign a lucrative deal to join Washington, according to multiple reports.
The deal is worth up to $32 million over four seasons. Only three 49ers average $8 million per season (Colin Kaepernick, NaVorro Bowman and Torrey Smith). San Francisco did not want to put Culliver in that group.
Coming off his ACL tear that caused him to miss all of 2013, Culliver had a strong showing last year, and got better as the season wore on. He ranked as Pro Football Focus' 14th-best corner with four interceptions and a 50.7 percent completion rate when targeted. That led to a 66.5 quarter back rating when attacked in coverage.
The former third-round pick in 2011 is still dealing with an arrest from last spring, when he was accused of a hit-and-run and brandishing brass knuckles. The District Attorney's office is still looking for a resolution in the case. Culliver's most infamous moment came during the week leading up to the Super Bowl in February 2013, when he made incentive comments about the LGBT community to a radio host. He has since worked with LGBT organizations in an attempt to fix his image.
With Culliver back in the lineup, San Francisco finished with the sixth-ranked passing defense in 2014, allowing 220.7 yards through the air per game.