The Oakland Raiders were full of nothing but confidence this time two months ago. The AFC West was experiencing a seesaw effect, and the tormenting ways of the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers left the perennial postseason door open for Tom Cable’s team.
With that open door, also went the Raiders season -- right out the window.
On January 9 some intriguing news struck the NFL world. Raiders’ cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was announced to have his contract void at the end of the 2010/11 season, making him an eligible free agent should Oakland fail to reacquire their star cornerback in a reasonable amount of time.
Open the flood gates and let the mad frenzy begin.
Before teams begin to rally for Asomugha’s contract, though, Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis has once again pulled a fast one on his franchise, and not for the first time. Turns out Asomugha’s contract withholds some valuable information, some of which discloses the Raiders disadvantage to slap a franchise tag on their cornerback during some point this offseason.
Hello Green Bay Packers.
According to many sources that maintain connections with the Raiders most valuable player, Asomugha is interested in a move to Green Bay, or in another entirely different case, the New York Jets next year.
The interest Asomugha instils in both the Packers and Jets is relatively simple. After spending eight frustrating seasons with the Oakland Raiders, Asomugha claims that the time has come to join a proven winner – ultimately fitting of Mike McCarthy or Rex Ryan’s current organizations.
What would Asomugha bring to a team like Green Bay that already has one of the best looking secondary’s in the NFL?
Easy. Another cornerback presence to Dom Capers 3-4 scheme, which Packer fans have been wishing for since some controversial and rather boring draft picks in recent years.
In 2010 Asomugha hit a rough patch in his career. Not only did he miss two games for the Oakland Raiders, he also went without an interception in 14 weeks, an odd statistic considering Cable’s pass defense was ranked second during the regular season.
Still, interceptions aren’t everything.
Instead of accumulating a high amount of turnovers this year, Asomugha still features his famous trait of speed and agility. The AFC West may not possess the same calibre receivers that the NFC North is known for, but Asomugha’s ability to contain wide receivers would be handy when the Sidney Rice’s, Devin Hester’s and Calvin Johnson’s appear on Green Bay’s schedule.
Then there is the height advantage that envelops a new dimension entirely.
Measured at 6-2 and 210 pounds, Asomugha’s tall frame comes into effect when considering a potential move to Green Bay. Packer cornerback Tramon Williams has been nothing short of great this season with six interceptions to his name, yet Williams’ 5-11 height disadvantage is a concern when taller receivers match up on deep routes.
Asomugha could take care of that.
Naysayers will share their two cents when this move comes into full light. For now, it is nothing more than a pre-offseason scenario to possibly distract Green Bay from their visit to Atlanta on Saturday.
Still, this is a very tempting situation for the Packer coaching staff.
As far as money is concerned Thompson would have to take a firm hand if Asomugha was seriously interested in signing with the green and gold. Should the Raiders star seek out more cash and a lengthy contract - head over to New York. If Asomugha is looking for a team environment surrounded by winners, by all means consider Green Bay.
Veteran cornerback Charles Woodson is well known for his friendship with Asomugha following their lengthy days in Oakland that came to an end in 2005. Maybe Woodson will persuade Asomugha somewhere along the line.
For now it is hard to see where Asomugha would fit in with the Packers, and in all reality it isn’t even worth entertaining this idea until a deal is proven final.
It is a colorful thought for Packer fans to keep in mind as the playoffs progress and Atlanta waits, and one that could transform Green Bay’s defense into an absolute powerhouse of both blitzing and deep coverage.
Prior to the free agent debate, Asomugha was earning $45.3 million for three years, making him the highest paid defensive back in league history.
When facing Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Ken Whisenhunt’s top receiving target discussed Asomugha following the game.
“The thing you see on tape for a man of his size, he has incredible hips and amazingly quick feet, and that’s just God given ability to be that tall and be able to move and cut and drive on balls the way he’s able to.”
Oakland have become famous for allowing Asomugha to run his own show, sending him out on a Darrelle Revis like island in just about every game. It sure has paid off.
Green Bay isn’t known for signing immaculate free agents, so let’s see if Thompson allows Asomugha to sail by. It will be a crying shame if Asomugha doesn’t earn himself a Super Bowl ring, and with New York pulling out of the hunt, who knows where Asomugha’s next destination is.
Ryan Cook is an Australian author for Acme Packing Company, and a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also a guest writer on PackerChatters, and a contributing writer to Detroit Lions Talk, Gack Sports and Sports Haze.