When one of the top two cover corners in the league hits the market in his prime, he is sure to command a hefty price. Guys like Asante Samuel, Nate Clements, Dunta Robinson, and Kelvin Hayden have received contracts in recent seasons paying them an average of over $9 million per year. None of those guys is a shutdown corner. They are decent players but nowhere near the Revis-Asomugha level. Asomugha could command the $15-16 million annual salary from his last contract in Oakland and the average of the first two seasons of Revis' deal.
Would he be worth it? That is a relative question. A better question would be what kind of team has such a premium on cornerback play that it would make sense. Let's start out with teams for which it would not make sense. That includes any team that runs primarily zone coverage packages. Zone defense asks corners to cover a limited space. A lot of guys can do that well. We can also rule out a cover 2 team. Those teams have corners receiving constant safety help deep. Again, many corners can play well underneath.
The kind of team that could best utilize a guy like Asomugha is an attacking, blitzing defense that leaves corners alone in man coverage without much help. They need corners who can stay with receivers and not get beaten because this kind of scheme puts a ton of stress on the defense. It is very difficult to stay with one man for a long time so corners capable of doing this are worth a lot.
On paper, that would indicate the Jets are a good fit. There is another factor, though. The Jets are already paying a corner, Darrelle Revis, top dollar. Revis takes the best receiver on the other team. Number two receivers are not as good. It does not require as good of a corner to take on those kinds of receivers. Would giving Asomugha top dollar and tying up that kind of money in one position really be the wisest investment? The Jets have to focus on building a complete team. Perhaps saving the money by buying a lesser corner who could do the job and investing the money elsewhere would make the team more complete.