We’ve all heard the talk.
Some of us believe that he would solidify an already strong Detroit Lions defense. Some of us would rather pass on his price tag and explore other options in free agency.
He is widely regarded as the best defensive back in the NFL, and he’s set to become a free agent.
His name is Nnamdi Asomugha, and one thing that isn’t disputed is that he is an absolute freak in the secondary.
When the Asomugha to Detroit rumors began to circulate, many dismissed the possibility of the shutdown corner choosing Detroit over the many viable suitors—including me.
Then the Detroit Lions drafted Nick Fairley in the first round of last April’s NFL draft. Due to the Fairley selection, Detroit was said to have the best draft of any team in the National Football League.
Detroit instantly became a media darling. It looked as if everyone wanted to jump on the Detroit Lions bandwagon…possibly even Asomugha.
With the powerful front four of Kyle Vanden Bosch, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Cliff Avril, it looks as if Detroit has become a cornerback’s dream destination.
Not many teams in the National Football League have the ability to be as dominant up front as the Detroit Lions do in 2011.
In a recent article for NFL.com, longtime NFL personnel man Gil Brandt wrote in regard to Detroit pursuing Asomugha:
"I wouldn't be at all surprised if they make a big play for Asomugha. And I think he would consider the situation in Detroit and playing for Jim Schwartz, who has won the respect of his team. A cornerback's best friend is a great defensive line, and right now the Lions have a pretty good group of defensive linemen."
Brandt also said that the Lions offer a unique situation: an elite pass rush from their defensive line and maximum contract leverage given their dearth of other cornerback options.
No one knows how much the Lions would offer financially, but from a media standpoint, at least they are gaining traction as a legitimate contender for his services.
Asomugha can do everything that the Detroit Lions defense requires of their cornerbacks.
Everything that Amari Spievey was drafted to do, but couldn’t.
Nnamdi isn’t just a shutdown corner. He’s dominant in zone coverage and has Charles Woodson's ability in coming up and stopping the run.
In 2011, the Detroit Lions play some of the National Football League’s greatest, most efficient quarterbacks. By the time the regular season comes to a close, Detroit will have faced Drew Brees, Josh Freeman, Matt Cassel, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Phillip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers…twice.
Detroit’s front four can only do so much, even with the quality depth the Lions utilize in their rotation.
Detroit will make a play for a cornerback in free agency, and up until now I didn’t really think that Asomugha was much of a possibility.
The asking price for cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Carlos Rogers is going to be outrageous given their abilities. I think that Detroit’s best laid plans would be locking up current free agent Lions cornerback Chris Houston and aggressively pursuing Nnamdi Asomugha.
For the first time in years, it looks as if Detroit could walk away with a dominant cornerback in the offseason.
Living an hour west of Indianapolis, I guarantee that if Detroit signs Asomugha, I’ll be putting up the house and buying tickets to Super Bowl XLVI.