Paymah Replaces Hudson in 49ers Secondary

For a guy who was born in Boston and who makes his off-season home in Denver, one would think playing for the Minnesota Vikings wouldn't be too much of a lifestyle and wardrobe adjustment for Karl Paymah. Yet the veteran cornerback quickly decided that even one winter spent having to deal with a typically frigid Minneapolis winter was one too many, so he signed a one-year deal with the 49ers.

"It's not somewhere you want to stay a long period of time," Paymah said of Minnesota. "One day I was stuck outside of my house for 10 minutes and I thought I was going to die."

Paymah did spend his formative years in California and graduated from Culver City High School, so he can be forgiven for his aversion to blustery climes. When asked if he consulted to figure out what bay area temperatures are like, he responded, "I just had to check It was a pretty simple decision."

Because Paymah had a free agent visit with San Francisco last season, he didn't feel the need to repeat the process again, choosing instead to just get a deal done over the phone.

"I knew all along it was going to be a short time in Minnesota," he said. "I knew about the city and everything, but as far as growing as a player and what I needed at that time, I felt like it would be a great fit. But San Francisco, I'm an LA guy, a California guy. I'm back at home. They have a great program here and they have missing a couple links and I feel like I can be a part of it."

Paymah went on to reveal that he's good friends with 49ers free agent CB Dre' Bly from their days together on the Denver Broncos, and that he works out frequently with FS Dashon Goldson, who also has roots in Los Angeles.

Wisely, Paymah backed off any predictions about whether Bly will be his teammate a second time, saying, "I'm just going to stick to playing and leave the coaching and the decisions to the guys upstairs.

At 6'0 and 195 lbs., Paymah has the size to play inside and out, though he's not a burner by any means. He prefers being physical with receivers, which meshes with the 49ers style, but ideally he's a fourth corner and a special teams maven.

Whether Paymah will ultimately fit in with the Niners depends less on him and more on how he'll be used. If he's here to replace 49ers free agent DB Marcus Hudson, then he's an upgrade. However, if going to be asked to play nickel corner, that might be biting off more than he can chew.

"I'm going to come in and do whatever I'm asked," Paymah said. "I'm going to play special teams. I've played a lot of nickel; I've had a chance to start a few games, whatever they need me for."

The 49ers will surely use Paymah in a variety of ways. Just as long as no one asks him to play tour guide the next time the team visits Minnesota, everything should be fine.

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