An ESPN report Friday said that the Raiders are “open” to including cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha as part of the compensation in a trade for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.
The Raiders, for their part, said there’s nothing to the report, which came on the heels of a ProFootballTalk.com post Thursday that floated the idea. The two Raiders employees also maintained that they are unaware of the Raiders even contacting the Eagles about McNabb.
A Yahoo! Sports report said that Asomugha’s representatives shot down the notion that Asomugha would be part of a deal for McNabb. Then again, the Raiders could make a trade that includes Asomugha without his knowledge because he doesn’t have a no-trade clause.
McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, told the Philadelphia Daily News on Friday that the Eagles and McNabb haven’t discussed a trade. Again, they don’t have to do so.
What’s it all mean? Not much until someone other than Smith puts his name to one of the myriad quotes attributed to unnamed sources. Until then, it’s all just part of the typical offseason banter native to the slow part of the NFL offseason.
That doesn’t mean McNabb won’t be traded, and it doesn’t mean that he won’t wind up with the Raiders at some point. The Raiders are far from set at quarterback with JaMarcus Russell, Charlie Frye and Bruce Gradkowski.
McNabb would provide an instant upgrade for the Raiders and take pressure off Russell from performing at a level much higher than he did last season or in 2009 when he was the unquestioned starter.
The Raiders have plenty of ammo to pull off a trade for McNabb, especially if the asking price is a second- or third-round draft pick. But trading Asomugha just doesn’t make much sense from the Raiders standpoint, given they are more than a 33-year-old, worn-down quarterback away from being a legitimate playoff contender. They would need both McNabb and Asomugha, as well as a few more proven veterans.