Free agency will be costly for the Oakland Raiders

nnamdi_asomugha1The Oakland Raiders will be busy talking to agents and negotiating this off-season.

With the news of Nnamdi Asomugha’s pending free agency, it added more stress to a team who is facing a coaching change and their first off-season in a long time subsequent to a prosperous campaign.

Asomugha’s contract voided based on incentives he did not meet in 2010. The four-time Pro Bowl selection had to play in a greater number of defensive plays in 2010 than he did in 2009. He only participated in 14 games this past season, but he played in all 16 in 2009.

There were also incentives based on statistics; interceptions, fumbles and sacks, but he did not record any in 2010.

Oakland in 2009 inked Asomugha to a ludicrous six-year deal that guaranteed him $28.5 million the first two years of the contract. Darrelle Revis pinpointed that contract last year, when the New York Jets’ star defensive back held out for more money. He eventually signed a four-year deal worth $46 million and $32.5 million guaranteed, all paid in the first two seasons.

The Raiders have now put themselves in a corner. Asomugha’s prior contract set a precedent and he responded by performing like an All-Pro during that span. The economy doesn’t dictate a similar deal and the current crop of Raiders that also will look to cash in will make like harder on Oakland’s brass.

Michael Bush will no longer have a 4th round rookie contract. His performance dictates that and at his age and little wear and tear in his body, it’s foreseeable he can get a starting gig elsewhere for more money than Oakland would like to surrender.

Robert Gallery is Oakland’s most consistent lineman. And he’s already talked about the effect not having Tom Cable around could have on the club.

“I think this is going to hit 99 percent of the locker room really hard because people how he dealt with us and where we were headed,” Gallery said. “It’s definitely a step back from what we’ve done going forward the last year or two.”

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Shane Lechler blasted the direction Oakland went on the sidelines and speculated on what could happen. “You’ll probably see people like Robert Gallery go on to another team, probably Michael Bush,” stated the 34-year old punter on CSN Bay Area.

Richard Seymour was tagged their franchise player in February, signing a one year deal worth $12.4 million a few months later. The same may have to happen if either side can’t come to an agreement on a contract. Kamerion Wimbley, a vital first year Raiders who recorded 9.0 sacks is a free agent to be. So is starting free-safety Michael Huff.

One thing is a guarantee, this won’t be a cheap off-season for the Raiders, nor a tranquil one as last year.

For a team who just posted an 8-8 record, their first non-losing season since 2002, not a good way to move forward.

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Contact Author: Victor Cotto – SB Report Columnist

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