Nnamdi Asomugha is going back to Cali.
For whatever reason, it didn’t work out for the 3-time Pro Bowler in Philadelphia. Truth be told, the complicated zone coverage that Philadelphia likes to run was a probably over the head of the former first rounder.
Asomugha, who stands at 6’3, is a physical corner who thrives in man coverage. The Niners are known for playing tough, aggressive, man to man coverage with their corners, — which should play rather nicely to Asomugha’s strengths. Even if the deal doesn’t work out, there won’t be much lost on the Niner’s end. Asomugha’s deal seals up one of the few remaining holes on the NFC champion’s roster, and is worth about $1.35 million with incentives up to $3 million.
No question, Asomugha’s career has fallen a bit short of expectations. To be rather blunt, it has been statistically nonexistent since 2006. That year, the former Cal Bear had career high 6 interceptions with the Oakland Raiders. If anybody remembers the 2-14 Raiders “season” that year, the organization was abysmal. Awful. Terrible. While the organization was imploding before everybody’s eyes, Asomugha was one of the few highlights that the organization could actually hang their hat on. He gave the “Icelandic, underground, heavy metal looking” Raider fans hope.
True success in this league isn’t always shown in the numbers though. Success is often shown in how opposing teams are reacting or playing towards certain players. By that measure, Asoumugha has had some. After his great 2006 season, Asomugha was only thrown to 35 times in the 2007 season, 25 times in 2008, 30 in 2009, and 39 in 2010. During that 4 season stretch in Oakland, he had only one interception in each year. He did manage to get 4 interceptions in two years while in Philadelphia, but the team could not restructure a contract for him and he was eventually released earlier in March. He was due about $15 million with the Eagles ($4 million guaranteed).
Either way, this was a very smart, no risk deal for the Niners, which won’t hurt them too much financially if he doesn’t work out. I like the deal, and I think he will be great by not only adding depth, but physicality to the secondary.
Welcome home, Nnamdi.
BY AARON BRATKA ON APRIL 3, 2013