Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 May 2010

49ers Sign Will James

Why would you do this to yourself? Will James is now a 49ers corner, signing with the team today.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 11 May 2010

21 comments, Last at 13 May 2010, 8:35pm by Brendan Scolari


by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 05/11/2010 - 3:02pm

He'll be at most the fourth corner, if he can beat out Paymah, but I'd still rather have Dre Bly, he played OK last year. Meh.

by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 05/12/2010 - 8:03pm

Agree on the Dre Bly thing. He played well last year, with a couple hilarious exceptions. Instead of him, we're signing Detroit's cast-offs?

I wonder how much of this is just Bly not having the personality of a Singletary player.

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 05/13/2010 - 1:05pm

I don't think he's been forgiven for that play against the falcons.

by JasonK :: Tue, 05/11/2010 - 3:17pm

Man, he was a damn fine Corner for his first few seasons with the Giants (back when he was still Will Peterson). But back injuries (first in '03, and again in '05) just killed his effectivness. It says something about the scarcity of competent CB play in the modern NFL that he has managed to stick around in the League for the last 4 seasons.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 05/11/2010 - 3:27pm

He's one of those guys that just must look the part and kill in practice. I remember the Eagles seeming really excited to have him a couple years ago, like there was talk of him competing for a starting spot. But then when he got on the field... oof.

by Dean :: Tue, 05/11/2010 - 4:26pm

He was pretty solid for a few games as an injury fill in, playing a dimeback role. But the next year, like you said, oof.

by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 05/12/2010 - 11:21am

What's wrong with the guy? I went looking, and all I could find was that he's listed at #13 on the CBS player rankings for DB. (Darelle Revis: #17. Nnamdi Asomugha: #159)

If the 49ers are getting a player who's 4 slots better than Darelle Revis and 10 times better than Asomugha, then hallelujah.

by Independent George :: Wed, 05/12/2010 - 2:39pm

Is it fantasy value? Maybe he gets lots of tackles from teams throwing at him?

by Shattenjager :: Wed, 05/12/2010 - 3:36pm

I went to look at this list out of curiosity (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/playerrankings/regularseason/DB?tag=pageRow...). Oddly enough, the page says, "The rankings are a total player-rating system based on various offensive and defensive statistics. Players increase their scores with every contribution they make to the game."

However, they seem to relate noticeably to fantasy. James did have 73 tackles last year.

by tunesmith :: Tue, 05/11/2010 - 3:24pm

If someone's going to have trouble beating out Paymah, that's a bad sign. He couldn't even hang on as a Broncos backup last I heard, and Denver's backup corners aren't strong.

by Shattenjager :: Tue, 05/11/2010 - 4:05pm

They needed a team psychologist?

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 05/11/2010 - 4:41pm

Yeah, it was a thoroughly pragmatic decision.

by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 05/11/2010 - 5:07pm


by Shattenjager :: Tue, 05/11/2010 - 6:46pm

100% agreed.

by >implying implications (not verified) :: Tue, 05/11/2010 - 8:02pm

Yes, but what will the 'cash value' of this move be?

by Shattenjager :: Tue, 05/11/2010 - 8:06pm

And if you're a 49ers fan, are you upset about the signing before you throw up as a response or do you form the feeling after the response?

by Brendan Scolari :: Wed, 05/12/2010 - 12:41pm

I couldn't care less honestly. He'll be the 5th corner if he even makes the team, he'll be lucky if he ends up playing more than 10 defensive snaps this year. Also, people like moaning over the signing of guys like James or C.C. Brown, guys who deserve to be roster fodder but ended up starting in previous years. The bottom line is almost every teams' 5th or 6th best corner is terrible, they just don't usually end up seeing significant playing time on the field so you never get to see how truly awful they are and they don't end up with "high profile" names and highlights. Anyone who thinks C.C. Brown is some ginormous downgrade from your typical practice squad safety is just kidding themselves.

by Thok :: Wed, 05/12/2010 - 12:50pm

Yeah, my general response to this is to wonder who else the 49ers should be signing, given that most of the better options are off the market already.

by Shattenjager :: Wed, 05/12/2010 - 1:14pm

It was a joke about the James-Lange theory of emotion (famously postulated by William James), not a comment about the importance of the signing.

by Independent George :: Thu, 05/13/2010 - 5:04pm

Astonishingly, this might be the first time a random, esoteric reference has sailed completely over the heads of the entire FO brain trust. We seem to attract a much higher percentage of physics/math/comp sci types than psychologists.

by Brendan Scolari :: Thu, 05/13/2010 - 8:35pm

Hm, okay. I have no idea what you're talking about, but then I'd include myself in the "dumb" portion of the FO crowd.