Nnamdi Asomugha a long shot to join the Packers?

Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award finalist Nnamdi Asomugha of the Oakland Raiders speaks at a press conference during the week of Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Texas on February 4, 2011. UPI/John Angelillo

The moment it was announced that Nnamdi Asomugha was likely to become a free agent this offseason, two potential landing spots emerged right away: Green Bay and Philadelphia.

Asomugha has a close relationship with Packers’ corner Charles Woodson, making Green Bay an obvious choice. Philadelphia is in need of a defensive back and there have been whispers that they’re willing to pay to pair Asomugha up with Asante Samuel.

But as Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com writes, the odds of Asomugha landing in Green Bay might be lower than people think.

I’ve tended to shy away from any anticipation of this move, knowing that Packers general manager Ted Thompson strongly prefers developing his own starters and depth through the draft. The Packers also are relatively well-stacked at cornerback with Woodson, Tramon Williams and Sam Shields. Williams is 27 and Shields is 23, and there is a strong possibility all NFL teams will be back to dealing with a salary cap when a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.

But don’t take it from me. Woodson himself downplayed the possibility during an interview with Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. While he would be willing to move to safety to make the arrangement work, Woodson said he wasn’t sure if it would come to that.

Woodson: “I’m not doing any recruiting. We’ve texted a few times about winning a Super Bowl. Nothing really about his future I don’t know what’s going on about him and Oakland or anything else. When I look at our team and I look at young Sam and Tramon, (I think), ‘Where’s he going to fit? How is that possibly going to work out?’ I think that would be the first question you have to ask.”

As Seifert points out, even though Thompson did pluck Woodson off the free agent market a couple of years ago, he prefers to build his roster through the draft. The team is also very high on Shields, who is expected to take over for Woodson one day.

Simply put, the Packers don’t need to spend big on Asomugha. Would Thompson love to have a talent such as Asomugha in his defensive backfield? Sure, just as any GM would. But it seems unlikely at this point that the Packers would pull the trigger on a move like that and have Woodson move to safety when he’s still playing corner at a Pro Bowl-level.

Philadelphia would seemingly be the front-runners at this point to land Asomugha’s services.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Will Asomugha wind up with the Jets or Packers next season?

Seattle Seahawks Golden Tate (81) can’t hold on to a Matt Hasselbeck pass as Oakland Raiders Nnamdi Asomugha (21) defends in the second quarter at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California on October 31, 2010. The Raiders defeated the Seahawks 33-3. UPI/Terry Schmitt

At last year’s Pro Bowl, Nnamdi Asomugha told the media that he and Darrelle Revis wanted to be teammates. If it ever happened, the duo would become an instant nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.

After the Raiders voided Asomugha’s contract over the weekend, that nightmare may become a reality. And if what former Raiders beat writer David White says is true, then quarterbacks in the AFC East and NFC North won’t be able to rest easy soon.

From White’s Twitter page:

I know him well. He’ll got to Green Bay or NY Jets. Mark it down.

As previously mentioned, Asomugha and Revis have already stated their desire to play with each other, so the Jets are an instant fit. Antonio Cromartie has played well in New York this season, but his contract is up after this year and Asomugha is by far the better all around corner. Could you imagine Revis and Asomugha joining forces in Rex Ryan’s defense? If Reggie Wayne was frustrated after Saturday night, he may not even want to dress when the Colts play the Jets in the future.

White mentioned the Packers presumably because Asomugha and Woodson are best friends. But unless Green Bay will be looking to replace Woodson, I doubt they would pony up for Asomugha after just paying Tramon Williams. A team can never have enough defensive backs, but Woodson made the Pro Bowl this year and Williams should have made it, so one would think the Packers are set at starting cornerback.

It’ll be interesting to follow Asomugha’s free agent escapades next offseason because there will be plenty of teams interested in the 29-year-old. His contract will scare some teams away, but great corners are extremely rare breeds. And Asomugha is the very best.

Related Posts