Update: ProFootballTalk believes the Raiders knew about the clause, and put it in place because they figured they could get out of the contract. Our take: if Oakland was so uncomfortable with Asomugha’s deal why did they offer him such an exorbitant sum in the first place? We’re still chalking it up to Al Davis & Co.’s incompetence.
Earlier: Only Peyton Manning makes more money than the Nnamdi Asomugha, but even he wouldn’t dare test the Raiders $14.3 million cornerback.
Opposing quarterbacks know better than to throw in the direction of the league’s best corner west of Darelle Revis. He’s a rare shutdown defender in a pass-happy era for football.
But Asomugha’s contract with the Raiders has just been voided, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Now, he’ll be the most sought after free agent in the NFL this offseason.
His three-year, $45.3 million contract included a clause that voided the deal if his production declined. Specifically, Asomugha needed to play in more snaps, or record more interceptions, sacks, or fumbles in 2010 than he did in 2009. But he failed on all those accounts as he lost two games to injury and opposing quarterbacks denied him opportunities at the ball.
The clause – which, with hindsight, the Raiders probably regret – was included because Oakland had been burned by a big contract to another defensive player, DT Tommy Kelly, the year before. But Asomugha earned his big money on the field.
The intricacies of NFL contracts might be confusing to fans and observers, but the Raiders have to be aware of the circumstances surrounding each of their players. Perhaps, they’re interested in cutting salary, but more likely the Raiders will lose their best player because they didn’t think to revisit his contract at some point during the season. The ineptitude in Oakland continues…
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