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Nnamdi Asomugha: Pursue or No? Part 1: Introduction

Nnamdi Asomugha was selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He entered the starting lineup near the end of his second season. His fifth year, 2007, is when his play entered the stratosphere. That was the year people started noticing him as not just a legitimate shutdown corner but the best in the league. He made his first Pro Bowl that year and has made every one since in addition to a pair of First Team All Pro selections. Darrelle Revis' 2009 put him on the same level. Now Revis and Asomugha are synonymous with shutdown corner in the NFL.

Prior to 2009, he signed a contract many used as a further evidence of Al Davis' insanity. It gave him $28.5 million all guaranteed the first two years and either $16.875 million the third year or the average salary of the top five quarterbacks in football if that was higher. The last year of this bizarre contract, however, was voided as Asomugha failed to hit certain incentives. He will be an unrestricted free agent. The Raiders may not use the franchise tag on him as per the terms of that contract.

In his prime at age 29, one of the two best corners in the world will hit the open market. Teams will not just be getting a great player, though. Asomugha is also noted for his charitable work and won the NFLPA's Man of the Year award in 2009.