ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Has it really only been two-plus years since Nnamdi Asomugha was one of the top free agents, if not the most sought after free agent in the NFL after eight years with the Oakland Raiders?
Or is it more surprising that the two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl cornerback has been cut for the second time this calendar year, first by the Philadelphia Eagles in March and then Monday by the San Francisco 49ers?
Of course, Asomugha, who had his best years in Oakland, being unemployed has many Raiders observers and fans wondering if a homecoming could be in the works. Or if it’s even worth Oakland kicking the tires on Asomugha.
It’s hard to imagine general manager Reggie McKenzie shelling out big bucks for a 32-year-old cornerback whose coverage skills have diminished at a rapid rate the past two years and was a healthy scratch the past three games for the 49ers, who signed him to a one-year, $1.35-million contract. Plus, Asomugha thrived in man-to-man defenses in Oakland ... and the Raiders rarely play that brand of defense anymore. At least, not exclusively.
Still, what team could not use a veteran presence with little to no off-the-field baggage, one who could help show first-round pick D.J. Hayden a thing or two, along with Charles Woodson? Of course, the price would have to be right for the Raiders to even entertain the thought of bringing back Asomugha, who has never played on a winning team in his NFL career. In fact, only one of his teams since high school has had a winning record, the 2002 California Golden Bears, who went 7-5.
So what should the Raiders do -- kick the tires on Asomugha, or has that ship sailed?