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Tagging Nnamdi a no-brainer

Using the franchise tag on an elite cornerback turned out to be a mistake where Charles Woodson was concerned, but is the common-sense move for the Raiders with Nnamdi Asomugha.

The Raiders made no announcements today _ the first day players can be tagged _ but one can be anticipated at some point in the next couple of weeks.

The only way it won’t happen is if the Raiders first sign Asomugha to a multi-year contract, but chances are they’ll first deal with free agents who have actual freedom to leave starting Feb. 29, knowing a deal with their star cornerback can be reached at any time.

Last year’s prize free agent corner, Nate Clements, has a seven-year, $64 million contract with the 49ers (this year’s playing time voided what would have been an eighth year). Considering how long it took the Raiders to come to an agreement on that kind of money with JaMarcus Russell, don’t hold your breath on a deal with Asomugha.

This year’s cornerback prize is New England’s Asante Samuel because he agreed to a deal last season which guaranteed he would not be franchised this year. Both Asomugha and Seattle’s Marcus Trufant, the other top tier corners, are likely to be franchised.

Asomugha is the only one of the three who has played most often in a man-to-man defense.

The franchise number for cornerbacks this season is $9.465 million, which is guaranteed upon signing. Asomugha could still visit other teams for a longterm deal, which the Raiders could either match or receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.

The other option is to make Asomugha an “exclusive” franchise player, meaning no other teams could negotiate with him. Asomugha’s salary would then be recalculated in April to average the top five salaries of cornerbacks across the league, which could conceivably go up from $9.465 million.

Still, the Asomugha situation is much more comfortable than the one that existed with Woodson, who pocketed $19.3 million in two seasons, designated “exclusive” in 2004 and as a straight franchise player in 2005.

For one thing, the cap is much higher _ $122 million _ and the Raiders have plenty of room to accomodate Asomugha without a ripple effect.

More important, the only thing Asomugha and Woodson have in common is that they play the same position.

The Raiders, whether they admit it or not, had to regret giving up so much money to a player who was prone to injury and snoozing during meetings. They gambled and lost on the second franchise designation, hoping to swing a deal for Woodson only to be stunned when he actually signed the tender guaranteeing him $10.5 million.

When agent Carl Poston presented the signed tender to the club at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, the Raiders were so flummoxed they issued a press release which said “The actions of agent Carl Poston and Charles Woodson tell us that they must have reached a long-term deal with a team, and we expect a trade very soon.”

It will be much smoother sailing with Asomugha.

For one thing, Asomugha is durable, having missed three games in five seasons. Woodson played in just 19 games for his $19.3 million in his two franchise years.

While Woodson came in with a Heisman Trophy and as the No. 4 overall pick, Asomugha lasted until the 31st selection of the 2003 draft. Even then, the pick drew blank stares and there were scouts from other teams which claimed Asomugha wasn’t anywhere in their first three rounds.

Score this one as a victory for the Raiders scouting department.

While Woodson started off playing at a near-Pro Bowl level, Asomugha, shuttled between corner and safety, struggled. He didn’t have an interception over his first three seasons, in part because his hands were about as soft as frying pans.

So Asomugha worked, and then worked some more. He can still be found staying after practice working on his game. He broke out with eight interceptions last season, and had just one in 2007 because teams wisely avoided throwing in his direction.

While Asomugha has never said publicly he wanted to move on, he could be forgiven for feeling overdue in terms of contributing to a winning team. In four seasons at Cal and five seasons with the Raiders, Asomugha’s teams are a combined 30-95 with exactly one winning season _ a 7-5 mark with the Bears in 2002, Jeff Tedford’s first year in Berkeley.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Florida Pete

    me too…

  • http://www.oaklandtribune.com RJV78

    To Oakglenn: Thats a really good question and interesting scenario. That would seem to be a good problem to have.
    Since I’ve been supporting beeing torn between Ellis and McFadden all day thus eliminating Dorsey(thats tougher to say then I thought) and C.Long(whom I dont like anyway) and I’ve already said I wouldnt pass on DMAC….. I’m sticking to my story.
    But I never thought about that scenario and I wouldnt be mad if the Raiders picked Dorsey or Eliis. At Least if DMAC falls to the Chiefs we can counter it with Ellis or Dorsey.

    Good Question.

  • Florida Pete

    does Hart High still play Lompoc every year???

  • La Milicia Negra

    because they wanted to see how he would do in a 4-3, it was clear he was best in the 3-4, he played that too in the senior bowl

  • Dakota

    Dell, come on man, that was 6 years ago! Shaq was once great, now he is a journeyman center. He is going into the HOF as a Laker, and I love him for what he did with the Lakers, but sometimes you need to see reality. Shaq is done. He is collecting a pay check, just like Dek, Hakeem and Ewing did at the ends of their careers.

  • RaiderDell

    Gentleman
    I say that very loosely, for some.

    This blog is good, but it’s the bloggers that make it fun and interesting.

    I guess it could be worse, we could be NE fans and just watched the history of sorts wiped out in one play to a little know WR, drafted in the 5 or 6 round.

    they went from the greatest team to ?

    Football is great, now pass the torch this way again.

    I’m off to the great exercise king, later.

    Oh dakota just playin with ya.

  • DSM Raider

    Being a Lakers fan, when Shaq was traded to Miami he automatically went onto a team where he had another Kobe in Wade and better roster talent around him.

    Kupchack made one of the biggest steals of all time in aquiring Gasol. Just watch Phoenix not make it to the finals this year and then a year older Shaq breaks down for good next year. Look at the stats of the greatest C’s of all time and you’ll see they start declining big time at age 34 and Shaq will be 36 next month.

    I personally don’t think Bynum will be back this year and we’ll make the playoffs. Next season with a healthy Bynum, Kobe, Gasol, & Odom we’ll be set for several years.

  • Florida Pete

    i hear Wilt can still play….

  • La Milicia Negra

    Lompoc…

    believe me I said Ellis over Dorsey for long time too. I just love Trevor Laws in the 2nd. I said that too before the SeniorBowl. But 2 DT in the same draft so close?! that not gonna happen.

    If we take Long, (yeaheyaeaeyah I know many of you think he is overrated) and Laws we instantly have a entire new D-line.

    If we take Ellis then what, see post 1471. we still need a lot of help, he isn’t the entire answer…

  • http://cheaphos.com Oakglenn

    Dakota, Parcells didn’t draft him, if you know what I mean.

  • http://cheaphos.com Oakglenn

    DSM, this is true. That the Raiders had worked a deal for him. As I said, he was shocked. I think he always thought he was going to retire a whiner. He came in and said, “I’m going to the Raiders.” Everyone was like, what??? “I’m going to the Raiders.” Like you said, it turns out he went to KC instead. That was what I said yesteday, KC out bid the then LA Raiders, but a deal was in place for him to go to LA. Small piece of history.

  • lompoc raider

    Pete- no lompoc does not play hart. the just moved lompoc into d-3, now they win only about 5 games a year.
    LMN- USC ran the 4-3 defense intell last season. ellis spent his first 3 seasons(redshirt,freshman,sophmore) in the 4-3. plus during those years he never wieghed more than 280, now he is a perfect nfl tackle wieght at 305. that what you want in a tackle. at nose he would have to get bigger, which would slow his feet down.

  • DSM Raider

    What if we skip drafting a DT altogether and fill the need via FA?

  • http://FixtheboldJerry.com Terrapin

    Ellis couldn’t play in a 3-4 at the Senior Bowl. Its against the rules. But speaking of the Senior Bowl, I’ve posted here before that Kiffin and Ryan were evaluating Ellis BIG TIME there. I say this b/c it was very interesting to me to see them constantly switch Ellis between DT spots. They also made sure to put him in the game for certain situations (i.e. end of the game when the Defense must make a stand – Ellis got a sack …. and in the game when the Offense is backed up near the goalline – Ellis got a sack for a safety). The guy showed them he is THE guy and I wouldn’t be surprised when/if his name is called.

  • http://www.oaklandtribune.com RJV78

    Its been fun smacking you guys around today. Hearing everyones opinion’s today really opened my mind to the fact that I am smarter then most people and better looking as well. I hope all ya’ll watch ESPN news all night and study the internet for tomorrows topic. We can all assume Jerry Mac is at home eating Cheerios in his underwear like a slob on the couch watching Bull Durham and drinking a bud light. I think the fans have taken over this sight. (did we reach 1500?) Now excuse me while I go Shoot my girlfriend full of HGH so she can look good in her bikini for Valentines day.

    I’m In! (This blog for 7 hours straight….geeeeze)

  • Florida Pete

    Corey Williams!!!!

  • Florida Pete

    Wesley Britt!!!!

  • La Milicia Negra

    DSMraider…

    Fine with me, finding one in FA…But I just got the hots for Trevor Laws, he is a fighter, a real MF

  • DSM Raider

    I’m curious to see who else gets cut. Keith “Tractor” Traylor could be signed for depth. Plus the way our division works, we’ll get a former Bronco or Chief this offseason as will the other teams.

    I like Corey Williams. Another high risk/reward possibility is Shaun Rodgers who’ll get dropped by Detroit before the season starts.

  • saintkaufman

    If we don’t resign Kelly we’ll be doing both

  • Florida Pete

    Trevor “i am the” Laws…

    yeah,,, we can do that…

  • La Milicia Negra

    NOOOOOoooooooo Traylor sux biiigtime. he is old and can’t learn our line anything. he is not the mentoring kunda type

  • La Milicia Negra

    SaintKaufmann…

    Clemmons would i love to see return too

  • Dakota

    Shaq can play DT.

  • Florida Pete

    so can Wilt

  • DSM Raider

    I would love to see our D needs filled via FA and then we could draft DMac & Hawkins with our first two picks.

    Hawkins is better than DeSean Jackson and Kiffin has worked with him. He’s another Steve Smith and runs a 4.47 fourty compared to Jackson’s 4.3. However for route running ability & hands, Hawkins is better.

  • lompoc raider

    no good tackles in FA. all the good ones will be franchised. besides the raiders need to quit with the retreads on the d-line, its time to draft a tackle, i’am not opposeed to trading our pick for more picks, and than taking d-tackle in the late first or early second round, but my choice is still ellis if he is availble.
    peace out nation.i’am out for the night

  • Florida Pete
  • http://FixtheboldJerry.com Terrapin

    same here

  • DSM Raider

    I’ve been saying Corey Williams for weeks too.

    If we could sign Williams and a couple of retreads for depth, I’ll be very happy. Obviously Kelly HAS to be resigned.

    There’s no way we’re trading down. I would love to trade down with Dallas for their two #1′s and a player, but it’s not going to happen.

    If we don’t land Corey Williams, then Dorsey is a must.

    As for Ellis and the rest of “Kiffin’s recruits” who’ll be drafted this year and the next 3 drafts, I’m curious if they’ll be better than past USC players in the NFL?

  • tyrat83

    But DMC has extra value on how bad Dallas owner Jerry Jones wants him. He said he was willing to give up his first round picks and Marion Barber

    Just imagine and drool over the scenario!!!!

  • tyrat83

    what do u think

  • Florida Pete

    Ive been yammering about Wesley Britt for the O line…

    Today the Panthers released Mike Wahle…

    that would be a very good pickup,,, also he lives in Arrowhead…

  • Florida Pete

    Jerry Jobes is not giving up 2 1st rounders, Marion Barber and about 20 million dollars for DMC…

    trust me…

  • DSM Raider

    I highly doubt it would happen, but you can’t say never, especially once the combine is over and the hype machine is in full swing.

  • Mistabrown

    Mayock said today that McFadden could go as late as #20

  • Mr raider

    If brayton is picked do we get any compensation or does unrestricted just mean he leaves?

  • Florida Pete

    he’s gone…

    it was awful nice of him to buy the thing out…

  • La Milicia Negra

    Jerry jones has said Marion Barber is to stay in Dallas, I don’t believe they would let him go. I don’t believe Jerry Jones is so in love with McFadden as people say…

  • DSM Raider

    I’m not saying it either, besides after being on the good end of the Herschel Walker trade he’s not going to give up two first rounders and a proven RB for DMac.

    However, if DMac goes off of the charts at the combine like CJ did last year, a big trade could happen.

  • Mistabrown

    Mr Raider our compensation for Tyler Brayton is 2 paper clips, 1 rotten bananna, and tylenol

  • tyrant83

    Jerry Jones has already been in contact with all 5 top teams trying to bank a trade for DMC

    and it was said that he was willing to give up his 1rds and Mbarber

    don’t forget that he is an Arkansas Alumnist

    i think that it is some more rumor mongoring
    but i can still dream can’t lol

  • http://cheaphos.com Oakglenn

    2 paper clips, 1 stank banana, and a bottle of tylenol for Tyler Brayton????????? we’ll take it.

  • Mistabrown

    Oak we finally agree on something. When you finally realize Ryan is a joke that will be the second thing..

  • Mistabrown

    Warriors were down 23 to Washington, came back and broke their hearts into a 1000 pieces.
    Don Nelson is the bay areas #1 coach.

  • http://cheaphos.com Oakglenn

    Well Mista, with regards to Ryan I look at it as a no lose situation. if Ryan does well, hey, he does well. if he doesn’t, he’s out of contract and we have some time to find a replacement without having to buy him out.

  • http://cheaphos.com Oakglenn

    Warrior game was a pretty good game. where’s Dakota and his lame flakers now??

  • Mistabrown

    Oak, the problem is RR could cost LK a playoff spot and maybe his job.

  • Mistabrown

    LK will not survive another 4-12 or maybe even a 7-9 season and no playoffs.

  • http://cheaphos.com Oakglenn

    Mista I don’t agree with that, necessarily. Interesting point tho. For Kiff to survive RR effing up, I think we are gonna have to see some improvement in the offense. And I think we will. The offense was terrible early in the season, and gradually progressed. The operative word being gradually. But when you have new QB’s, new blocking schemes, new offensive coordinator, new head coach, things take time to jell. I expect improvement in the O and the D, next season. I’m sure we all do. If we don’t, everyone is gone.