The hottest free agent in the NFL is nine-year veteran, Oakland Raider CB, Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha became a free agent when he was unable to achieve his incentives. The Oakland Raiders were unable to use the franchise tag on him either, which means that Asomugha is the hottest free agent around.
Nnamdi Asomugha was drafted 31st (first round) in the 2003 NFL Draft. Nnamdi signed a $45.3 million, three-year contract in February 2009, at which time he became the highest-paid CB in NFL history. Asomugha's contract stipulated that he had to have a greater number of interceptions, fumble recoveries or sacks in 2010. Asomugha had only played 14 of the 16 games last season and the biggest factor is that opposing QBs will not throw his direction. Knowing that the best CB in the NFL is Asomugha, they dare not throw his way.
It will be great news if the Oakland Raiders retain Asomugha with a matched offer and long-term contract. However, should the team lose Nnamdi Asomugha, they will need a replacement. One option is to draft another CB.
The Oakland Raiders have actually had success drafting CBs. Former Michigan star Charles Woodson (1998-2005) was drafted first round in 1998. Charles Woodson became a seven-time Pro Bowl player and was physical on the field for the Raiders.
Before becoming a Green Bay Packer in 2005, Woodson totaled 396 tackles and 17 interceptions. Charles Woodson is a Hall of Fame player. It's very unfortunate the Oakland Raiders let him go, but he was spiraling with injuries and made a great recovery as a "cheese head".
The Raiders have recently drafted Chimdi Chekwa. Chekwa comes from the Ohio State Buckeyes and can fly down the field. Chimdi Chekwa possesses excellent man-to-man coverage, has great speed and is very athletic. The question for Chimdi is, can he become another Woodson or Asomugha? At this point anything is possible, and although he was good in college, will he be able to handle the NFL? Chances are...yes?
Chris Johnson is an eight-year veteran that has been with the Oakland Raiders for four years. At 6'1", 200 lbs, Johnson has posted 118 tackles and eight interceptions. He has been a solid player, but at the same time has been burned in the secondary. His best season was in '09, when he had 59 tackles and two interceptions. At best, he is average.
Walter McFadden is a two-year rookie that has small playtime. At 5'10", 180 lbs, he is small and tends to get beat by taller, wider receivers. Walter McFadden may possibly get cut when the lockout is over. Last season he posted four tackles.
Stanford Routt was recently resigned to a three-year, $31.5 million contract. According to an ESPN article, Hue Jackson seems to believe that Stanford Routt can be a No. 1 CB when he made the comment, "Stanford had a really good year last year and there is no question he can be a No. 1 cornerback." Routt posted 55 tackles and had two interceptions last season.
The Oakland Raiders have great potential in Mike Mitchell. A two-year rookie who is 6'1", 220 lbs, Mitchell is a beast and makes great tackles on the gridiron. Mitchell has proven himself to be a solid, fast and aggressive player when he gets the opportunity to win games. Last season Mitchell had 51 tackles and one interception.
Drafted in the third round, Demarcus Van Dyke was the first CB to be picked by the Oakland Raiders. Van Dyke comes from Miami and is 6'1", 168 lbs, and may turn out to be the secondary turnover king. Van Dyke has excellent ball-hawking skills. The skills are raw, but he may be a sleeper.
There has been skepticism about Van Dyke and even aolsportingnews.com had this comment posted, "Once again the Raiders continue their long history of drafting bad football players who work out like stars." It is comments like this that they tend to eat.
Once a coach like Rod Woodson comes around to train these athletes, he brings in years of Pro Bowl experience, this will show when the Oakland Raiders meet opponents and will benefit the Silver and Black.
The Oakland Raiders also brought back Steve Wiszniewski and Greg Biekert who was an excellent cover man. Greg Biekert had a great 1998 season when he posted 115 tackles and three sacks. The man was a warrior for the Silver and Black attack! He will surely make an impression on the new Raider roster.
The addition of Rod Woodson was an excellent move by Al Davis. The timing was perfect, and there is still time to go after a free-agent CB that attracts both Rod Woodson and Hue Jackson. For some reason, I feel the secondary will be both sharp and tough on rivals, there may be new names also. The team is getting younger, faster and winning games. Its an exciting time for the Raiders are on the Rise!
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