[EDITOR'S NOTE] If you’re looking for a differing opinion on Nnamdi Asomugha, here you go. Kyle’s back from work-induced hiatus to share some thoughts on the Texans – specifically this time on free agents and Nnamdi. Also note that this was initially a comment on this entry, so it’s not really framed as a blog entry – but he put some thought into this so I wanted to bump it to the main page. I think the idea of not wanting Nnamdi is insane, but I’ve always said I don’t have to agree with a guest entry to post it. Thanks go out to Kyle for taking the time. Carry on, Kyle:
Frankly, I don’t want Nnamdi.
He’ll cost too much because the media has crowned him the LeBron James of cornerbacks (I choose him because A: Nnamdi has 0 rings, B: they both have been accused of playing on teams that are otherwise talentless, and C: ESPN has written before that LeBron James would have been an elite cornerback had he chosen the oblong ball). And, empirical data does NOT back up said media infatuation. Football Outsiders’ analysis shows that the only thing impressive about Nnamdi’s performance last year (A CONTRACT YEAR MIND YOU WHERE EVERYONE, I MEAN EVERYONE, OUTPERFORMS THEMSELVES FOR MONEY) was that he was not targeted enough times to register on the chart. (To compare, neither was Asante Samuel, and, had Samuel been allowed to chart, he would have been their best CB of the year, whereas Nnamdi’s “Success Rate” metric tied with the #10 guy). As for ProfootballFocus, he is implicitly ranked 4th among corners in their 2010 Top 101. Impressive, but not at the oh-my-god level he has been touted.
I can guarantee you that the Tier 2 (all the other #1 CBs besides The Great Nnamdi, such as Rogers, Joseph, or Taylor) we eventually sign will be a huge upgrade at a spot that has not had a worthy player since pre-injury Dunta, and that players contract PLUS the contract of our next-biggest signing COMBINED will be cheaper than the ridiculous paycheck that Nnamdi will claim.
To further my point (and to see if I can start a “How I Met Your Mother” allusion trend here at HDH), I came up with the following chart to give us another reason why we should be looking at a more cost-effective cure for “$#!+ty Cornerback Syndrome”:
It is assumed that Nnamdi will be the highest-paid relocating free agent in 2011. How has that worked out in the past five years?
(NOTE: As anyone who has ever tried to research the immediate past has found, it is hard to get definitive data, so if my listing as the most expensive free agent each year is wrong, if you correct me, I will gladly reexamine that year(s)).
2006: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans
Change: +7 (3-13 to 10-6), lost NFC Title Game
2007: Nate Clements, CB, San Francisco
Change: -2 (7-9 to 5-11), missed playoffs
2008: Asante Samuel, CB, Philadelphia
Change: +1.5 (8-8 to 9-6-1), lost NFC Title Game
2009: Albert “Hundred Mil” Haynesworth, DT, Washington
Change: -4 (8-8 to 4-12), missed playoffs
2010: Julius Peppers, DE, Chicago
Change: +4 (7-9 to 11-5), lost NFC Title Game
Analysis: Well, this may seem like the data doesn’t further my point at all, but stay with me here. First off, The Brees signing appears somewhat anomalous so I am kind of distancing myself from it, not because the move appears so successful but because, frankly, the other four maintain a smaller shot group of both effectiveness as well as in the team that made the signing.
As for the other four, what do we have? Two teams with a recent history of success turning that signing into a Silver Medal at the Conference Title Game, and two teams with a recent history of non-success using the move to continue said streak.
Which team do you REALLY think we are like, people? Chicago and Philly, two teams that had recent Super Bowl appearances (though losses) on their resumes at the time of signing, or Washington and San Francisco, whose had struggled to put winning teams on the field.
I personally fear that if we signed Nnamdi, we would be more likely to get a Clements or Haynesworth than a Samuel or Peppers.
Something else to consider for the none of you still reading:
What is it that everyone loves about Nnamdi? No one throws to him. He locks down his side of the field? Well, in this day and age, the QB will pass to SOMEONE, meaning the other guy has to get the bulk of the attack.
Who’s the projected #2 corner? Oh right. Kareem Jackson. So, you’re telling me that the $$ that we used to sign Nnamdi just means that Kareem will lead the NFL in targets.
Does that sound like a formula for a team that makes it to the AFC Title game, or a team that has a losing record?
P.S. If you agree, but are pushing for the signing as a way to sabotage Kubiak, feel free to come forward. You have asylum on this blog. I’m sure of it.