The Oakland Raiders announced that former first round pick Nnamdi Asomugha would be signing a one-day contract so that he could retire as an Oakland Raider today. Asomugha was drafted by the Raiders at the end of the first round in the 2003 NFL Draft and spent eight seasons wearing the Silver and Black before signing with the Philadelphia Eagles as a free agent.
During his time with the Raiders, he was often the only bright spot on one of the league’s worst rosters. He went to three Pro Bowls and was commonly thought of as one of the top two corners in the entire league. In fact, he was so good, opposing teams would often spend the entire game attacking whatever side of the field Asomugha was not playing.
His greatness, however, came to an abrupt halt when he joined the Eagles. Asomugha was asked to change schemes and move away from the only style of defense he had played his entire NFL career, man-to-man. After appearing to lose a step and not being able to adjust to zone coverage, Asomugha went from great to has-been quicker than anyone would have ever guessed.
He was cut by the Eagles in March and signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers. But after beginning the season as a starter, Asomugha struggled and missed time with a knee injury. Tramaine Brock took his place as the No. 3 corner, and Asomugha never returned to the field. He was cut by the 49ers in early November when they activated Eric Wright.
When he was released for the second time in 2013, many wondered if Asomugha might find his way back to the Raiders. After starting strong, the Raiders secondary has slowly devolved into one of the worst in the league. As a result, many figured it wouldn’t hurt to bring Asomugha back on a veteran minimum contract and see what he could do.
Well, Raiders fans got their wish and Nnamdi Asomugha will indeed re-sign with the Raiders, but only so that he can wear the Silver and Black as he retires. What is ironic about Asomugha’s retirement is that he will be joined at the press conference by none other than Charles Woodson, the guy he was drafted to replace and who is still playing in the NFL and is now back with the Raiders himself.
Also joining Asomugha at the press conference will be Raiders greats Lester Hayes and Willie Brown. Not too bad of a deal for Asomugha. After a disappointing end to a once-brilliant career, Asomugha will get to call it quits while standing next to and receiving support from three of the greatest players to ever wear the Silver and Black.