With the salary cap and the number of free agents the Jets have this year, I never really let myself think too much about the possibility of signing Nnamdi Asomugha. However, after Santonio Holmes signed as quickly as he did along with the fact that we actually have room under the cap (see The New York Jets Cap), it is not only a possibility that Nnamdi could become a Jet, it makes a ton of sense for him. Here’s why:
To achieve true greatness, one needs to make history.
Pairing Nnamdi’s rare talents with Darrell Revis’ would form potentially the greatest cornerback duo the NFL has EVER seen. These Islands of Our Dreams would likely surpass Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes as the NFL’s best cornerback tandem ever.
The New York Jets haven’t won a Superbowl in over forty years. Joe Namath, to this day, is beloved in New York. If Nnamdi comes to NY and the Jets win a Superbowl, this town will love him forever. Should the Jets, after knocking on the Superbowl’s door two years in a row, finally kick it in, people will be talking about what made the difference. How couldn’t people look to Nnamdi (the best free agent available, in the most important position on defense, on a defensive-minded team) as responsible for making the difference.
While Nnamdi could likely get paid a higher salary elsewhere, nowhere else would make him more marketable and land him more endorsements. When you combine athletes salaries and endorsements, nearly 40% of Peyton Manning’s and a third of Tom Brady’s income came from endorsements. In NY, Nnamdi also wouldn’t have to stoop to pitching women’s boots either – he’d have his pick of companies to choose from.
Imagine the instant marketing juggernaut that would be formed by pairing the two best players, at the most important defensive position, in America’s most popular sport, in the world’s best city! If that doesn’t blow your mind, image if he’s the missing piece that brings the Lombardi trophy back to the big apple after a painful forty-four year absence! Companies will be trowing money at him to endorse their products. It is very likely that the difference in salary he would get from a team like the 49ers would more than be made up by the amount of endorsement opportunities he’d get in NY.
"The Saddest Thing In Life Is Wasted Talent"
That quote from A Bronx Tale when Lorenzo gives Calogero some life advice is very relevant. When thinking of Nnamdi, the only thing I love more than his game is his character. By all accounts, he is a very high character guy. Being a high character guy, I think Nnamdi is interested in seeing how good he really is. Unless he plays along side Revis or maybe Champ Bailey, he’ll never really know.
In and astounding 7 of 8 years Nnamdi has been in the NFL, he has recorded just 1 interception or less per season. Since the Raiders have kept Nnamdi at right corner (unlike Revis who follows his opponent’s number one receiver wherever he may line up), opposing QB’s have simply not thrown Nnamdi’s way. Since 2008, Darrell Revision was targeted an average of 5.6 times per game and Champ Bailey was targeted an average 4.7 of times per game. Conversely, Nnamdi was targeted only 2.2 times per game. If Nnamdi comes to the Jets, his targets (and interceptions) will certainly increase. Nnamdi will have a rare opportunity to truly see how great he can be and have the opportunity to reach his full potential.
Location, Location, Location
Who doesn’t want to play for Rex Ryan?! Yesterday Jim Rome interviewed Damien Woody and Woody said he’d rather retire than play for a team other than the Jets – he said, "it’s either Gang Green or nobody." Click here to watch the interview and hear straight from Woody’s mouth how and why players love playing for Rex.
In addition to playing for a defensive head coach that is unequivocally beloved by all who’ve played for him, the Jets:
- are a true Superbowl contender (they’re the only team to make it to their conference championship game in the last two consecutive years)
- are located in the ideal city for Nnamdi’s post-football career aspirations
- have one of the best, if not the best, GMs in football in Mike Tannenbaum
- have an owner in Woody Johnson that is committed to winning and puts his money where his mouth is
- have some of the best facilities in the league
- have a great culture – every player to a man says it’s a great environment
Nnamdi, if the above reasons are not enough to tip the scales in favor of you bringing your talents to NY, please let me know and I’ll give you many more!