Nnamdi Asomugha, the best player on the Raiders roster and one of the NFL's top cornerbacks, might want to get comfortable. Despite speaking frankly on the team's most recent insane personnel decision, the Pro Bowl player will likely be in Oakland beyond 2008 even though he's currently working off a one-year deal.
Asomugha was franchised last offseason so he's only under contract until March, at which time he can sell his services to the highest bidder. In theory, anyway. Unfortunately, for as incompetent/senile/mental as Al Davis appears, he's even able to piece together Asomugha's importance to a unit I would loosely describe as a "defense."
Via NFL Network's Adam Schefter:
...Asomugha will go to the Pro Bowl this season. And for the second straight year, the Raiders will slap their franchise tag on Asomugha. It is the only way they can assure keeping him.
The franchise tag for Asomugha will cost the Raiders $11.7 million, a small price to pay for the player that many believe is the best cornerback in the game. Opposing teams no longer even look to throw to Asomugha's side; one knowledgeable league source who tracks these sorts of things estimated that only 10 passes have been thrown Asomugha's way all season.
Interestingly, some folks believed that, by releasing DeAngelo Hall, the Raiders were freeing up salary-cap space to make a run at Asomugha. But as Schefter writes, the club has been trying to sign him for about a year now with no success. "Nor will they anytime soon." That's encouraging.
I can't imagine anybody -- even those within the organization -- faulting Asomugha for wanting to get the hell out of town. I just wonder how this plays out after the Raiders tag him again this offseason. I mean, would he demand a trade or threaten to sit out the season? Honestly, at this point, I wouldn't fault the guy, but $11.7 million is a lot to leave on the table.
Whatever, it really is sad; Asomugha is a smart dude, a hard worker, and undeserving this fate. That said, the potential to pull down $20 million over two seasons should help mitigate the pain. Specifically, it'll allow Asomugha to buy enough vodka to numb him up pretty good.
Asomugha's Contract Expires After Season, but Raiders Likely to Franchise Him ... Again originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Thu, 06 Nov 2008 13:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.