The NFL lockout is over which I’m sure you heard. Here’s an Icky Shuffle video to celebrate. Although I wanted to see them miss some regular season games, losing them money and fans, I guess I don’t mind the NFL’s coming back now. It would’ve been tragic to be without the NFL and NBA this winter. I mean, actually having conversations with the family on Thanksgiving instead of watching football sounds completely ridiculous. It’s no secret, the top free agent in the ocean sized free agent pool seems to be Nnamdi Asomugha as they’ve been talking about him a lot the past week. I pretty much know for a fact he won’t be back with the Raiders, or he and Al would’ve worked out a deal or Al would’ve honored the rest of his contract instead of terminating it last season. It’s sad to see the Cal star turned Raider heading out of the Bay Area, but sometimes you need a change in your life. I will continue to root for him to succeed wherever he goes (as long as it’s not the Patriots).
Nnamdi was an interesting Raider. Since we drafted him in 2003, he was pretty much the lone bright spot on teams that sucked year in and year out, which you can point to a number of reasons, but none were his fault. Normally the Raiders have the dysfunctional head cases or cast offs playing for them, but he was a different breed of Raider. He liked community work even going back to his days at Cal. If you met him you’d probably think he’s some slick businessmen instead of a football player. I’d actually elect him as the NFLPA rep as soon as he retires. He continues to do talks to college kids about the importance of education on his own time. He even fly’s around the country to help recruits understand what they are getting into, and takes the time to debate with our former president showing everyone his expertise isn’t only football. He’s pretty much everything you’d want in a star player. Humble enough to work hard. Smart enough to put the film time in, and just like on Sunday, he’s never in trouble aka bringing bad PR.
Is he worth $20M+ per year? That’s a double edged sword right there as a few of our readers don’t think he’s worth it from what I remember. I didn’t feel like the Raiders overspent when we signed him to the contract making him the richest CB in the league, and most deemed the contract ridiculous at the time, but he produced. Hell, our Deangelo Hall signing was 100 times worse. I would say Nnamdi as the whole package is worth the $20M+ per year. You get a shut down corner that opposing teams don’t throw at. Of the 474 passing plays ran the last two seasons against Oakland, only 7% of those plays targeted Nnamdi. A combination of blanket coverage and respect of his talent forced opposing QB’s to look the other way. He’s also out of the Charles Woodson mold when it comes to tackling, which I feel is one of his most underrated attributes. Cornerback might be the hardest position to evaluate, and while I understand why some argue that getting a ball-hawking corner like Antonio Cromartie for a third of the price makes some sense. On the other hand, a guy like Cromartie is a huge liability, and can’t even remember his kids names. Also, how much did Cromartie benefit from having Revis across the way from him. If Nnamdi had someone half as good as him on the other side, I would be willing to bet you he’d have more picks. Anyways, wherever he lands, be happy you got him. He’s well worth the money. My prediction: Baltimore….