The San Francisco 49ers are sitting pretty after a 2-0 start, but they’re looking to improve their roster with a former New Orleans Saints defender. Cornerback Bradley Roby hasn’t found a team in the weeks since his release, but that could change with San Francisco.
The veteran defensive back is a potential option for the 49ers, who invited him to a workout on September 18, according to ESPN insider Field Yates.
“The 49ers hosted veteran CB Bradley Roby on a free agent visit,” Yates posted on X (formerly known as Twitter.)
The 49ers are in need of additional cornerback help after second-year DB Samuel Womack was placed on the injured reserve this past weekend. The visit also coincides with the Arizona Cardinals signing DB Qwuantrezz Knight off the San Francisco practice squad (more on that below.)
Roby has a plethora of NFL experience with three different teams, while also boasting a Super Bowl ring during his run with the Denver Broncos in 2015. It seems unlikely that Roby could be an upgrade in regards to the current group of 49ers corners, but he would be a solid option as a backup.
Bradley Roby Looking for Next Stop After Saints
After impressing at Ohio State, Roby first got his start in the NFL with Denver after being selected as the 31st overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. The Broncos had just been routed 43-8 by the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, and were in need of defensive reinforcements.
Roby was one of their answers, and he quickly made an impact despite not starting many games (2.) Pro Football Reference shows that he brought down two interceptions, forced two fumbles and registered 13 passes defended as a rookie.
In the Super Bowl-winning run in 2015, Roby was not a consistent starter but notched another interception and 10 passes defended. In the postseason, he is credited with a forced fumble and three PDs.
Roby would go on to run out his contract as a consistent cog in the Broncos defense, but Denver elected to let him walk in free agency in 2019. The Houston Texans came in for Roby, but the CB only played in 20 games over two years with Houston, although he did grab three INTs in that stretch.
The former Buckeye’s production has steadily declined during his time with the Texans and the Saints but he was still a factor when healthy. In fact, the 2022 season marked the first year of Roby’s NFL career that he did not record an interception.
Cardinals Claim San Francisco CB
With Samuel Womack hitting the injured reserve, the 49ers could’ve considered Qwuantrezz Knight as a call-up. The Cardinals have other ideas, though, and are signing the second-year UCLA product off the Niners’ practice squad.
Knight has not made a regular season appearance for San Francisco, but his consistent presence on the practice squad during the 2022 season and the 2023 offseason shows that the 49ers, ideally, wanted him around.
The Athletic reporter Matt Barrows says Arizona already wanted to sign him during the 53-man cuts, but Knight and the 49ers came to a practice squad agreement. Now, the young corner joins the Cardinals less than two weeks before the two NFC West sides are set to square off at Levi’s Stadium.