Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

February 19, 2009
Nnamdi gets paid ... a lot

The Raiders agreed to a three-year deal with cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, making him the highest paid defensive back in NFL history.

NFL.com reports the deal is worth a minimum of $45 million and could max out at $50 million with $28.5 million guaranteed in the first two years.

Other reports have Asomugha's guarantee at $26 million.

Per NFL.com, if the Raiders choose to keep Asomugha for the third year of the deal he would be paid the average of the top five highest-paid cornerbacks or $16.875 million -- whichever is greater.

If the Raiders don't want to pay Asomugha that much, he would become a free agent and the Raiders could not use the franchise tag on him.

The Raiders franchised Asomugha last year, something Asomugha did not want this year.

Asomugha's new agent, Tom Condon, who also negotiated the deal for Raiders punter Shane Lechler, brokered the deal.

While there have been conflicting reports over how much Lechler will make, his deal is a record for punters.

Lechler is expected to make more than $3 million a year.

The Raiders have no re-signed their top-2 free agents without having to use the franchise tag.

This didn't seem possible at the end of the season.

Lechler appeared intent on leaving, having grown tired of losing.

Asomugha seemed destined to be franchised for a second straight year after failing to agree on a long-term deal last year.

The Raiders had until 1 p.m. today to use the franchise tag.

But the Raiders and Condon were able to get this done.

And as a result, an even greater leadership void in the locker room wasn't created.

Asomugha established himself as the best cornerback in foootball last season and continued to evolve as a leader.

Asomugha, in many ways, became a lot like Charles Woodson.

He didn't hesitate to give an honest opinion. Like Woodson, he didn't sell a company line that things weren't that bad when everyone could see otherwise.

He openly questioned the dedication of his teammates and no one dared challenge him publicly because Asomugha's work ethic is unquestioned.

Neither is his value to the Raiders now.

--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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