The Nnamdi Debate
July 07, 2011 at 09:22am by Scott • 20 Comments »
All the talk so far about Nnamdi Asomugha going to the Bucs has been from fans debating on whether or not it was a good idea. But now that a national guy like Jason La Canfora has broached the subject, I guess it’s time to take it a little more seriously. Here’s what he had to say about it yesterday:
“I was talking to two GMs this morning and ran this very scenario by them, and neither disagreed,” La Canfora said. “The Bucs are going to have to set the market with a deal or two to get up to the cash thresholds if that ends up being in the deal. And while I hear Nnamdi would like primarily to go to a team that is seen as a perennial contender, he also knows money talks and he ain’t a spring chicken anymore. Remember, the Bucs put a pretty massive deal on the table for (Albert) Haynesworth a few years back as well. I could see them out-bidding others for Nnamdi (but that average per year is gonna be more like $19M than $16M). That would not surprise me.”
La Canfora covers the financial aspect of a deal for Nnamdi, but not the most important part of it. Would Nnamdi fit in the Bucs’ plans? Does he fit the mold of the kind of player Raheem Morris is trying to fill his team with? First of all, Nnamdi is a defensive back and Raheem loves him some defensive backs. He is a vocal and very active member of the community in Oakland. His character is said to be impeccable; he has never been arrested or suspended. All that works. He is also a leader in the Raiders’ defense. Although Ronde Barber is the godfather back there, he doesn’t command the backfield like I think Nnamdi would. Aqib Talib seems to have taken on the role as the fiery kick-ass leader of the secondary, but if Roger Goodell suspends him when the season finally kicks off (and given Goodell’s policy of “suspend first and ask questions later, it’s very likely), that position could be open for a while.
If the Bucs were to bring him over, he would obviously start. Who would sit on the bench, assuming Talib is not suspended? Ronde? I guess that makes the most sense given his age and the fact that Ronde plays a lot of nickel anyway. What this would also mean is that you’re basically giving up on the development of Myron Lewis and E.J. Biggers, at least for 2011. If Ronde retires after this year, one of them could step into his nickel spot and depending on Talib’s legal situation, that slot could also open. But at least for 2011, they’re doing a lot of ass sitting. Raheem likes both of those guys, so that would not sit well with him. But obviously Nnamdi is the better player, so how could he argue?
Did you know Nnamdi only has 11 career interceptions? He’s been in the league since 2003 and has only missed five games but still only has 11 interceptions. And eight of those came in 2006! I guess that’s what happens when you shut down your side of the field. Darrelle Revis has 14 for his career, but none last year when his Revis Island reputation really took off. Then again, Champ Bailey has been a well-known top cornerback for years and still averages four interceptions per season and has never gone a year without at least one pick.
It would be a change of philosophy for the Bucs, but you can’t deny Nnamdi’s talent and character. I’m really on the fence about this one. Forget how much money he would cost or salary cap implications — that boring shit doesn’t concern us. Is it a better idea to bring Nnamdi to Tampa or should the continue developing the guys they have?