We knew this day was coming. Two years ago Al Davis inked Nnamdi Asomugha to a complex deal that was the largest in league history for a DB. Seeking to avoid the franchise tag, Asomugha’s contract called for him to be paid on par with the NFL’s top quarterbacks but also had a specific stipulation that would void the three year agreement after two seasons.
Well, that dreaded day has come as Aso failed to meet certain contractual incentives thus voiding his deal and placing the best cover corner in the NFL on the free agent market. As if that alone isn’t cause for concern, Davis is powerless to slap either the franchise or transition on Nnamdi.
Now, normally this might not seem so concerning. Coming off the most enjoyable season of his pro career in Oakland, you’d think Nnamdi would be onboard to re-up with the only franchise he’s ever played for. Many will cite the obscene amount of bread Davis tossed at Aso as the reason he chose to stay in the Bay last time. Truth be told, Nnamdi is a stand up guy who sought to finish what he started by helping to turn the Raiders around.
In addition, Asomugha has become very involved in the East Bay community and is among the most charitable athletes today in pro sports.
In a normal world you’d assume the Raiders would have the inside track on bringing their most prized possession back.
But this isn’t the “normal” world. This is the Al Davis world where guys like Tom Cable are shown the exit just as he’s got his team finding an entrance into NFL respectability. This is the world in which Davis hands out wretched long term contracts to the likes of DeAngelo Hall and Javon Walker yet is unable to secure longer deals for All-Pros like Asomugha and Richard Seymour.
This is either the moment things begin to truly fall apart or begin to come together as Davis’ overblown ego and tragic insecurity have once again taken his franchise back to the crossroads.
No telling what the future holds for Nnamdi. At this point he must feel like a character in some existential piece authored by Kafka. Since he’s arrived in Oakland, Nnamdi’s days have been spent waiting for a ray of sunshine to creep through the dark clouds so that the tree of success might finally grow. Then, just as that tree was finally beginning to bear fruit along comes Al Davis with an axe.