Why Nnamdi Asomugha Will Not be Back in Oakland Next Year

Max IasconeSenior Analyst IMarch 23, 2008

The Raiders have certainly done their share of big spending this offseason, resigning key players and making big name acquisitions, all at an above market rate.

However, one man has been conspicuously left off the gravy train, and that man is superstar corner Nnamdi Asomugha, who has payed his dues in Oakland for his whole career and has yet to be reimbursed for it.

Although he was franchised, I bet that Nnamdi wants his piece of the pie, especially after seeing pro bowl corner Deangelo Hall move to Oakland and sign that monstrous contract.

Typical logic would dictate that Al Davis is simply waiting for the right time to ink Asomugha to a long term deal, but he already made a quick move to make Kelly, making him the highest paid DT in NFL history, some see Hall being paired with Namdi to form the most feared CB tandem in the NFL, I see Hall as Nnamdi's replacement.

For all the fans out there who have watched Al Davis run his team for any length of time, it is obvious that when Davis has something that he wants to keep, he doesn't drag his feet when he goes about keeping it.

I also doubt that he will simply let Asomugha walk, since the value of a good corner in the NFL has risen exponentially in today's passing centered NFL game.

Trading a tagged player is not an uncommon practice in the NFL (see Corey Williams) and the Raiders secondary is very deep, Asomugha will also command a gigantic contract and rightfully so, but I don't think said contract will be from Oakland.

There are plenty of teams in the NFL who are needy at corner and it's a safe bet that most of them would give an arm and a leg for a stud like Nnamdi.

Among the list of potential suitors would be Dallas, New England, New Orleans, Arizona, Detroit, both New York teams, the Chiefs, and possibly Minnesota.

One potential scenario that I could envision would involve Asomugha being shipped to New England for DT Vince Wilfork, who has shown the ability to consistently draw and shed the double team in the 3-4 and would give the Raiders one of the most fearsome DT duos in the NFL if he were paired with Kelly in a 4-3 set.

New England would of course have to pony up a draft pick or two and some cash as Asomugha is a franchise type player, but Wilfork should not be underestimated, while his on the field antics (he was fined thrice last year) may anger Bill Belichick to no end, Wilfork has the size that Oakland needs to stop the run up front and the rare ability to provide a middle pass rush in the face of the double team.

If this trade were to happen, the Raiders wouldn't have to worry about their D-line in the upcoming draft, which means that they would be free to draft Ohio State phenom Vernon Gholston to shore up their LB corps.

Gholston, who has been compared to Shawne Merrimen, is a prototypical 3-4 rush linebacker who could also play DE in 4-3 sets.

With that many weapons along Oakland's front seven, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who has coached Wilfork before, would finally have the personell to implement a multiple front defense, with Wilfork playing NT in a 3-4 and Gholston at LB and Kelly and Wilfork in the middle in a 4-3. Wilfork's arrival would also spell the end of the line for Terdell Sands, who has not come anywhere close to fulfilling expectations.

I'm sure every sports fan is aware of New England's miserable corner situation, if the problem isn't rectified soon, the starters going into this season would be Ellis Hobbs, who has been awful in his time in New England and Brandon Meriwether, who is still unproven, with washed up Fernando Bryant playing the nickel.

New England's secondary could use some starpower, as could Oakland's D-line, also, Wilfork just looks like a Raider to me, he has the swagger that is reminiscent of Oakland's golden age in the 70's.

However, speculation aside, the Raiders still have the number four pick in this year's draft and whoever Al Davis picks will want a massive contract and the only way that the Raiders could sign said pick and Asomugha would be if either Asomugha or more likely the number four pick would need to sign a Larry Fitzgerald-esque contract laden with incentives, and as illustrated by Fitzgerald's contract in Arizona, that is a gamble not worth taking.