Packers Shouldn't Rule Out Adding Top CB Asomugha in Free Agency

Nicholas KashianContributor IIFebruary 19, 2011

I know, at first glance this headline seems like it has as close to zero chance of happening as any possible event.  Say, getting struck by lighting or winning the lottery or more accurately winning the lottery and getting struck by lighting on the same day.

See, the Green Bay Packers under General Manger Ted Thompson’s leadership don’t sign free agents during the annual free agency signing period.

Since Thompson took over Green Bay has signed Charles Woodson, Ryan Pickett, Frank Walker, Brandon Chillar, and Anthony Smith who was subsequently cut in training camp (although he is now on the roster having been acquired in a midseason trade).  

In fact, they did not sign a single free agent during the signing period prior to their 2010 Super Bowl run.  Because they lost DE/OLB Aaron Kampman in free agency, they will receive a compensatory pick at the end of the 3rd round.  

On top of that, the odds are further stacked against Asomugha joining the Packers because he plays cornerback.  A position that many would say the Packers are well stocked with Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Josh Gordy, Jarrett Bush, Pat Lee, and Brandon Underwood finishing the season on the roster and Josh Bell on injured reserve.  

However, there has been recent media chatter circulating the Internet, radio and TV airwaves, and print news, that Asomugha may have a desire to play for the Packers in order to win championships with his good friend Charles Woodson.

Now, if Asomugha wants to win championships in Green Bay, I for one don’t think he should be prevented from doing so.

I am willing to bet he would take less money to play in Green Bay which doesn’t mean the contract Tramon Williams signed during the season with just $13 million guaranteed.  It just means less than what other teams, likely the New York Jets, are sure to offer arguably the league's top corner.

But, I do think he would sign the same four-year $55 million dollar contact with $20 million guaranteed his friend Charles signed in September coming off his 2009 DPOY award.   I would argue that contract would be very reasonable for both sides.  

At 29 that would make Asomugha a free agent again at 33, ironically the same age Woodson was when he signed his extension, at which point he should get another big payday.  He also would be close to the league's top paid defensive player at $13.75 million per year, just behind newly inked Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour who claims the top spot at $15 million per year.  

And, the Packers would have hands down the best cornerback group in the NFL locked up with Woodson, Asomugha, Williams, Shields, and Gordy.  

A little side note: If Thompson can land Richard Sherman, a 6’2" cornerback out of Stanford, who reminds me a bit of  Al Harris but with sub 4.4 speed with that third round compensatory pick it would be a major coup for the Packers and complete of very well-rounded position group.  

This maneuvering would also set the Packers up well for the day when Woodson makes the move to safety, which could be next season but more likely will be in 2012.  Just imagine that, talk about a playmaking safety who has the ability to come down and cover a receiver one on one in the slot.  

The Packers, are on the surface, well stocked at cornerback but considering three factors, you may begin to reconsider that initial conclusion.

First, the possibility of injury, which we saw nearly cost the team in the Super Bowl when Woodson and Shields went down.

Second, Bush, Lee, and Underwood have proven to be liabilities in coverage and should be upgraded.

Third, the Packers lined up in their nickel package on over 70 percent of their defensive snaps in 2010.  Meaning they essentially played with three starting cornerbacks.   

Free agency is scheduled to begin at 12:01 am March 4, but only if the NFL Players Association led by Demaurice Smith and the NFL Owners led by Commisioner Rodger Goodell can come to a meeting of the minds on a new collective bargaining agreement.  

However, even if the two sides can’t come to an agreement and a lockout ensues, I don’t think anyone believes a deal won’t eventually get done and that deal will certainly include a similar form of free agency.

So, whenever free agency eventually begins whether it’s on March 4 or it’s September 4, the Green Bay Packers should sign cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha if he is willing to sign the same contract as his friend Charles Woodson.  This signing would be very reasonable monetarily for both sides and would achieve what both sides desire.  

$55 million over four years with $20 million guaranteed = BACK to BACK.                                                            


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