As stated yesterday, no matter what happens with the new CBA the Oakland Raiders shouldn’t find it too difficult to keep Michael Bush in the East Bay. That seemingly leaves Zach Miller as the top priority on Al’s to-do list.
Now keeping Nnamdi Asomugha in Oakland could prove to be a very tough task.
Just as there are many factors working in favor of keeping Bush in Silver and Black, there are just as many working against Asomugha remaining a Raider.
Being that this ludicrous lockout has lasted this long we’re now in danger of training camps being affected. Thus if there is a resolution of any kind it will come at a cost. Teams will have to scramble to make free agent offers while simultaneously evaluating their draft picks all the while assessing the state of their current roster.
With regards to free agency this isn’t a stellar class. Thus a superior shutdown corner like Nnamdi quickly moves to the head of the class. Asomugha’s talent is a no-brainer type of deal. Teams won’t need months of evaluation to determine whether or not they need a guy that removes half of the field from a QB’s options. The only question is how much are they willing to spend?
Mr. Davis has made it pretty clear that he had no intentions of giving Asomugha anything close to what he was scheduled to make prior to his mega-contract being voided. Of course that didn’t stop Al from committing big bucks to Nnamdi’s counterpart – Stanford Routt. Still, Routt’s $10-million tag for 2011 is a good $6-million less than what Aso would have been paid.
Now I’m not here to say Asomugha is as good as gone. By all accounts he loves being a Raider and despite all of the dread that has surrounded his years in the East Bay Asomugha has made the most of his opportunities.
But we all know that money talks.
No matter the circumstances, Asomugha isn’t going to get a deal worth nearly what he would have been owed under his previous contract. By now he’s made his peace with taking a pay cut. Naturally the question is how low is he willing to go?
If Asomugha values playing for a contender he just might take significantly less funds in hopes of chasing a Super Bowl. Given the way things are looking up in Oakland he just might get that chance without having to move.
If all Nnamdi cares about is getting paid, which would be out of character for him, then he’ll have a short list of teams with enough cap space to make him a suitable offer. Again that is all relative to the new terms of the CBA and just what Nnamdi and his representation deem to be worth his value.
You get the feeling that Mr. Davis anticipated all of the possible scenarios which would explain his desire to secure Routt’s services prior to the lockout. Al can simply sit back and let the market dictate the value of Asomugha. Should the price be too steep, Davis can thank Nnamdi for his service and wish him luck. If the market sets the bar at a level Davis is comfortable with then he’ll welcome Asomugha with open arms.
Either way there will be no shortage of teams lining up to get into the Asomugha sweepstakes. Known for his maverick style and all-or-nothing gambles this is one situation I’d hope Davis is more calculating than hopeful. It is impossible to replace a talent like that of Asomugha. Look around the league and you’ll find more franchise QBs than true shutdown corners. That’s exactly why keeping Nnamdi should be the top priority in Oakland.