Hey.... we at least made the top 10 list...
Dallas #1? Really? Redskins? not a chance.http://www.nfltouchdown.com/2011-nfl-free-agency-top-10-most-likely-landing-spots-for-nnamdi-asomugha/
After a less-than-impressive cornerback class in the 2011 NFL Draft, many teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions and Houston Texans—just to name a few—will be searching with a set of binoculars for a much-needed upgrade at the position through 2011 NFL Free Agency.
It’s uncertain when teams will be able to make transactions, but we do know they’ll be forced to duke it out in some very stiff competition for top-tier defensive backs when the free agency market is open for business.
There’s many conscientious corners available that will supply the necessary fix-up like Ike Taylor, Jonathan Joseph and Antonio Cromartie, but there’s only one Nnamdi Asomugha.
Here’s a countdown of the Top 10 most likely destinations for the star cornerback.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are certainly an under-the-radar sleeper in the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes. But don’t sleep on the shut-down corner taking his talents to Tampa Bay. As one of the more creditable Bleacher Report Featured Columnists Eli Marger writes on the topic, “With a bite-sized payroll of $57 million last season, the Bucs can certainly afford to splurge during free agency. The player that they should target is expensive, elite and could singlehandedly transform the Bucs defense from good to great. This player is Nnamdi Asomugha.”
Tampa Bay is also a favorite for ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas.
Safety Tanard Jackson also happens to be suspended until September for a substance abuse violation and Aqib Talib just can’t stay out of trouble. Both are likely to never wear pewter and red again. Furthermore, the NFC South has some pretty lethal receivers and Ronde Barber isn’t getting any younger.
9. New York Jets
Antonio Cromartie, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes. At least one of them won’t be receiving a call from the New York Jets front office to come back in 2011.
If the Jets cut ties with Cromartie, the door is open for Nnamdi Asomugha and quite possibly the greatest cornerback duo in NFL history with Darrelle Revis. But as Jason La Canfora points out, it’s a “long-shot” for New York to have two corners at the very top of the market.
8. Seattle Seahawks
Despite having cupcake competition in the passing game in its own division (aside from Larry Fitzgerald, of course) and being widely considered not championship-ready, Seattle should be thrown into the heated conversation of potential destinations for Nnamdi Asomugha. Why?
Marcus Trufant, 31, clearly still has some gas in the tank, but is best suited as a solid No. 2 corner, rather than the current leader of the secondary. Second-year safety and potential superstar Earl Thomas would make the Asomugha addition daunting for opposing offenses. And the University of California alum is a “west-coast guy.” But will that be enough?
7. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers didn’t really strike gold in the 2011 NFL Draft, but they did find some silver pieces along the way and addressed some gaping holes early with rush-linebacker Aldon Smith and duel-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick, aka the Transformer, in the first two rounds.
Secondary-starved San Francisco still needs an answer at strong safety and corner, however. Signing Nnamdi Asomugha would extricate most of the pass-coverage issues and would give the team some much-needed cap room by having the luxury to cut ties with Nate Clements. Nevertheless, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee doesn’t envision the team getting into a high-stakes bidding war for the star corner unless he’s willing to give a “home-town discount.”
6. Oakland Raiders
Will he stay or will he go now? The possible return of Nnamdi Asomugha to Oakland has been a blazing hot topic since the end of the 2010 NFL Season. Most of Raider Nation claim Al Davis will pay him and he’ll be back in Silver and Black. But everyone else is riding on another ship.
The Raiders selected DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa in the middle rounds of the draft and handed Stanford Routt a lucrative deal for a reason. Moreover, head coach Hue Jackson sounds like he’s been told by higher-ups that the superstar cornerback won’t return in 2011.
5. Washington Redskins
I’m sure there was a time when the Washington Redskins weren’t active in free agency, but it probably dates back to when dinosaurs were still roaming around.
The ‘Skins have made some successful acquisitions over the years under owner Dan Snyder, but they’ve been far overshadowed by the bad moves. Nonetheless, Washington has significant cap space and plans to be aggressive once a new CBA is put in place.
Nnamdi Asomugha probably tops the offseason wish list and would not only give the team excellent bookend corners, but also a breath of fresh air in the locker room. The question is—how much does the shut-down corner want to play for the rebuilding Redskins, who in my humble opinion, still have a long way to go?
4. Detroit Lions
Nnamdi Asomugha would be match made in heaven for the Detroit Lions. But the odds are against a deal getting done.
Serious contenders build through the draft and make smart, frugal moves in free agency. Jim Schwartz has stuck to this successful strategy and he’s not going to suddenly change the method, no matter how much of an impact Asomugha would provide.
NFLTouchdown.com’s Detroit Lions Fan Voice and Managing Editor Dean Holden suggests Nnamdi will probably look elsewhere and Detroit will search for someone cheaper. “Asomugha, ultimately, has the luxury of shopping around for a team that brings the best mix of big money, title chances and desirable location. As much fun as it is to think the Lions are that team, they’re not.”
3. Houston Texans
Most Texans beat writers don’t expect Nnamdi Asomugha to sign with Houston because of his sky-scraping price tag. But I’m not like most beat writers. Moreover, Andre Johnson, the NFL’s crème de la crème receiver and a good friend of the star corner, has been lobbying to bring his talents to H-Town.
“I’ve talked to him, and every time I hit him with it, it seems like it’s on his mind,” Johnson told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “I don’t even say, ‘Hey what’s up?’ The first thing I say is, ‘What’s up? Are you coming to Houston?’ What are you going to do?” He went on to say, “It’s tough [to sell] because everybody wants him. When you haven’t been in the playoffs, it makes it a little tougher. But guys also recognize that we’re a team on the rise. Hopefully, that’ll work out for us, and he’ll be part of the Texans.”
ESPN’s John Clayton believes this is a “no-brainer,” with the “perfect fit coming at the perfect time.” Clayton added that owner Bob McNair has deep enough pockets to pay him and the addition would help the league’s youngest secondary and allow for more exotic blitz packages.
With Jacksonville stuck in neutral and Tennessee in transition, it’s time to press on the gas.
If the team fails to bring in Asomugha, look for a conscientious corner and solid strong safety to be brought in for around the same price. Ike Taylor, Jonathan Joseph, Dawan Landry, Antonio Cromartie and Roman Harper, among others, are names to remember.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Andre Johnson isn’t the only star receiver lobbying for the awesome shut-down cornerback. DeSean Jackson plans to make a recruiting pitch with the fellow Cal alum.
“During the Pro Bowl, I was actually telling him, ‘Come on man, you know we need you here,” Jackson said. He concedes that free agency’s top defensive playmaker will have “a lot of options” with “a lot of money on the table.” “Hopefully he can take a pay cut and come to the Eagles… we have a good chance over here.”
Pairing Asomugha with Asante would sure be no fun for Tony Romo, Eli Manning and whoever’s taking snaps under center in Washington—for years to come.
1. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys just might launch a more aggressive campaign for Nnamdi Asomugha simply to keep him away from landing in enemy hands in Philadelphia, according to Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News.
It’s no secret that Jerry Jones has some steep pockets and isn’t afraid to open his checkbook and toss money around like confetti. Terence Newman, 32, needs a future replacement as well.
But safety could be viewed as a more de rigueur position to address. Michael Huff played for Rob Ryan for three seasons in Oakland and should become available. There’s also a hot commodity in DE Cullen Jenkins to consider, too. Cleaning house by releasing Newman, Mario Barber and Marc Colombo would open up the flood gates, but I wouldn’t take that bet to any casinos.
An in-state or division rival could easily put forth the most attractive offer, but right now, Dallas looks to have the best cards in the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes.
Verse of This Piece
“Being respected is more important than having great riches. To be well thought of is better than silver or gold.” —Proverbs 22:1
Other Possible, But Unlikely Destinations
There are 16 teams that I believe have no shot at Nnamdi Asomugha for one reason or another. This features the New England Patriots (won’t spend the money), Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens (drafted Jimmy Smith), Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars (not enough of a supporting cast or attention), Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, New York Giants (enter Prince Amukamara), Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings (rebuilding), Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals (Patrick Peterson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie).
After unveiling the list of Top 10 potential destinations and 16 sure-fire teams you can scratch out, I thought it would be only fitting to cap it off with the last six teams that have a chance to land the star free agent, but the odds are stacked against them. I’ll wish them good luck in advance because they’re going to need it if they want him excelling in their defense in 2011. Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Diego, Kansas City, Green Bay and New Orleans, I’m referring to you.