Asomugha being dangled by the Raiders?

In his desire to create yearly offseason headlines, Raiders’ owner Al Davis has reportedly been shopping most of his roster, including cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. But according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Asomugha’s contract makes him virtually untradeable.

In February of last year, Asomugha signed a three-year, $45.3 million contract extension. The first two years of his contract, which total $28.6 million, are fully guaranteed and another $4.7 million is available through incentives.

The fun really begins in year three of the contract because in order to keep Asomugha through 2011, the Raiders must pay him either the franchise number for quarterbacks that year or $16.875 million (whichever number is greater). If another team acquires him via a trade, they would either have to re-work his contract or pay him quarterback money. That’s why Schefter suggests that Asomugha’s contract essentially makes him untradeable.

It’s not that teams won’t be interested in Asomugha, because all 31 other teams would line up to have him suit up for them next season. Outside of maybe Darrelle Revis of the Jets, Asomugha is the only cornerback in the league that can play man-to-man every snap and still consistently shut down one half of a field. Charles Woodson was brilliant last year for the Packers (he was arguably the best cornerback production wise in the league), but even he doesn’t exhibit the man-to-man coverage skills that Asomugha does. For as good as Revis is, he may not either. That said, unless a team wants to sink millions of dollars into one of their cornerback positions, Asomugha isn’t going anywhere.

Of course, there’s a good chance that Davis has no intentions of trading his star defender anyway. If Schefter did acquire this information from a reliable source that knows Davis, it still doesn’t change the fact that the owner loves to cause a stir and would certainly be capable of manipulating a story like this to create some headlines.

The safe bet is that Asomugha will be in silver and black again next year.


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