The official free agent signing period doesn’t begin until Friday, but teams have been in conversations with player agents to secure agreements all week long. Both sides have considered Oakland Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha the top and most expensive free agent on the open market.
Asomugha has been coy about where he wants to play football by saying that he is looking for the best opportunity for himself.
Money has always been the deciding factor in all free agent signings, and I see no reason why Asomugha needs to rush into a contract agreement. Creating a bidding war between several teams for his services is good for business.
Here are my projected odds of the teams that could sign Nnamdi Asomugha:
Going into free agency, the New York Jets had more than $10 million in salary cap space, and that doesn’t include WR Santonio Holmes newly-signed contract. All Jet fans wonder if there is enough cap space to sign Asomugha, as his asking price starts at $11.5 million per season.
All they might need is a little creative financing by GM Mike Tannenbaum and a good recruiting meeting by head coach Rex Ryan to convince the talented cornerback in taking less money for an opportunity to win a Super Bowl in New York. Ryan’s defense is based around good cornerback play, and having the best tandem (Asomugha and Darrelle Revis) in the NFL would increase their chances to play until February.
You expected the Houston Texans to make the biggest offer to Asomugha, as they have restructured contracts all week to try and help fill the most important need on the roster. Then they went ahead and signed Johnathan Joseph instead. Reportedly, the Texans had offered a contract that averages between $12-15 million per year to Asomugha.
Team management feels this move will show the league that the Texans are becoming a true contender. But this acquisition alone won’t make them a playoff team, as their secondary was horrible last season. The Texans need a veteran safety to help stabilize the play of the entire defensive backfield.
My answer is yes, as they have signed all of their draft choices and QB Alex Smith, so the money has to be allocated to someone. Asomugha is a perfect fit to defend Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald twice during the season.
Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio tried to build his defense in Houston around a pass-rusher and top-flight cornerback play. The 49ers drafted OLB Aldon Smith, the seventh pick in the first-round, to pressure the quarterback, and seeing Asomugha in red and gold would complete the package.
The first priority of the Dallas Cowboys at the start of free agency was re-signing the left side (LT Doug Free and LG Kyle Kosier) of their offensive line. They were hoping to pry away S Eric Weddle away from San Diego, but he re-signed with the Chargers.
Owner Jerry Jones would love to dabble into the Asomugha sweepstakes, but salary cap restraints will keep them from making a significant offer. This might not sit well with the Cowboys fanbase, as they always expect the team to make a big splash in the free agent market during the offseason.
It would be a longshot for the Oakland Raiders to re-sign Asomugha, as it’s unclear if they really want to get into a bidding war for his services. It seems the Raiders are more interested in spending their money on bargain basement free agents. His leaving will create a huge void in their defense, as Asomugha is a true shut-down cornerback.