Nnamdi Asomugha on the Way Out?
The sounds of many Raider fans rejoicing could be heard earlier today when Raiders spokesman John Herrera confirmed the release of cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who was acquired in a trade last offseason from the Atlanta Falcons.
Many of those fans have vivid memories of Hall getting burned in Week One by Denver rookie Eddie Royal to the tune of nine receptions, 146 yards, and a touchdown.
That bad first impression left a bad taste in fans' mouths and very little patience for anything other than perfection; the same type of perfection that they had grown used to from Hall's fellow cornerback and now former teammate Nnamdi Asomugha.
Hall quicky became the scapegoat for the defense's problems. Whether it was against the run or the pass, it always seemed to be Hall's fault. Hardly a fair shake. Nnamdi Asomugha agrees.
In a local media interview, Asomugha said: "I’m obviously disappointed. I don’t agree with what happened. I don’t agree with what’s going on.
"They were throwing at him and he was playing. He had eight games to prove himself, which is what really got me. I was sitting at home last night, watching the election and all that and excited, and then he calls me, hurt. Because he wanted to finish out the season here and he told me he was getting cut and it was just shocking."
But Asomugha, always the class act, refused to comment on his own contract and future with the Raiders or go in-depth about any of the going-ons within the organization.
However, a couple of comments don't sound very promising with regard to Asomugha making long-term plans to stay in Oakland. For one, he's playing under the dreaded Franchise Tag. That doesn't usually endear a player to his team, much less a team that has endured 67 losses during that player's tenure.
Secondly, saying, "I don't agree with what's been going on" is hardly followed up with a long deal. One can hardly blame him.
Asomugha, 27, is in his prime and is worth more right now than he will at any other point in his career, which will make him a highly coveted free agent if, and when, he hits the market.
Assuming that a long-term deal is not in the foreseeable future with apparent tension growing between the Raiders and their standout corner, a second consecutive Franchise Tag cannot possibly help the situation.
With Oakland floundering on the field and in a constant state of turmoil off it, a transformation into a contender cannot be expected anytime soon.
Add in the mistreatment of DeAngelo Hall and it would surprise no one if Asomugha wanted nothing to do with Oakland after the season. It seems as if Al Davis dropping the axe on Hall may inadvertently cause Nnamdi's departure as well.
Said Asomugha on the benching of safety Michael Huff, "I guess it’s the nature of what’s been going on here. If you don’t perform within an allotted time, then you move on."
Maybe the time has come for a player to treat the Raiders the same way; and it's no one's fault but their own.
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