Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

July 15, 2008
A business decision

The deadline for a long-term contract came and went.

Nnamdi Asomugha is unsigned.

And it's going to stay that way for a while.

Don't fret Raider fans. Asomugha isn't planning a season-long boycott with $9.765 million waiting for him once he signs with the Raiders.

But when the Raider report to training camp in Napa on July 23, I wouldn't suggest bringing your child that's looking for an Asomugha autograph.

Players don't have many ways of showing their displeasure with being franchised.

In the business of the NFL, that's done by not signing the franchise offer in time for training camp.

Asante Samuel did that last year and still played at a Pro Bowl level for New England. He signed on Aug. 28. But the Patriots agreed not to franchise him again if he hit performance benchmarks.

And the Raiders aren't going to surrender the right to keep Asomugha next season. I don't fault the franchise for doing that.

Franchising Asomugha in 2009 would guarantee him almost $12 million in salary. So he'd make approximately $22 million for two seasons and then hit free agency in 2010.

Asomugha is a professional that won't show up out of shape. He's not angry with the coaching staff or that the Raiders will pay him almost $10 million in 2008.

But if the Raiders won't agree not to franchise him next year, he knows he could be going into 2009 on another one-year contract.

This is the only leverage the player has in this situation.

And it's not personal, just the business of the NFL.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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