I have some thoughts to share on this “report.”
I really have no beef with Jason La Canfora for this article. He’s just doing what he does. It’s the ridiculous things that result from “reports” like this that I have a problem with.
Look at exactly what La Canfora says:
The Texans indeed are prepared to be aggressive in free agency, according to league sources, and will be among the teams pursuing All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
The fact that the Texans are “prepared” to be aggressive in free agency is the notable takeaway here. That’s what the league sources are telling La Canfora. The sources that are telling La Canfora that the Texans will pursue Asomugha, however, are these super-secret sources called… eyeballs and a functioning brain.
OF COURSE the Texans will “pursue” Asomugha. Probably in the same way that the Astros pursued Carlos Beltran. Be prepared to hear “we made a competitive offer” in reference to the Texans’ interest in Nnamdi Asomugha (and that’s NOT a shot at the Texans).
The thing that irritates me, though, is that people read this and instead of seeing what La Canfora says, they treat it as if it’s a new news item.
So, from the top down, here will be the teams (in a general sense) who will “pursue” Nnamdi Asomugha:
Start with all 32 teams, because in one way or another, EVERY NFL TEAM is interested in Asomugha.
Eliminate those who are very deep at cornerback (not very many).
Eliminate teams who don’t have the cap room and aren’t willing to make it for him.
Eliminate teams who don’t have the spending power to make it happen.
You’re still left with roughly half the NFL, or more.
The Texans are certainly in that group. They have the need, they can make the cap room work, and they certainly have the spending power. As an aside – “Bob McNair is cheap” is one of the most ridiculous Texans myths. Maybe we’ll tackle that one down the road sometime.
So what happens as a result of this article? Well, Mike “Human Overreacting Robot” Florio gets a great SEO OPTIMIZATION!!!! article out of it (and claims Dunta Robinson was a high-end cornerback – WTF), and the rest of the sports news and blog world goes bananas.
This should come as no surprise, but one of the Houston sports radio stations (I think it was 610) actually took the above quote from La Canfora and turned it into the following, and used it as a promo for their morning show:
“A report says the Texans will aggressively pursue Nnamdi Asomugha.”
Uh, no. That’s not what the report said, in ANY shape, form, or fashion. The words were there, but that’s not what the article said. For the love of GOD, is it too much to ask that people actually, you know, read something, comprehend it, and react to it instead of lighting their faces on fire and running around in a crazed circle of lockout-induced cocaine-binge madness?
My thoughts on Asomugha to the Texans are the same as they were the second the Raiders set him free. Yes, they will have interest. Yes, they will make an offer. The Texans have one thing, and one thing only they can offer Nnamdi Asomugha. Money. That’s it.
At the same time, there will be not only “teams,” but MANY TEAMS who can and will offer Asomugha BOTH top-end money AND the REAL CHANCE to contend for a Super Bowl. If your answer to that is for the Texans to simply offer even MORE money, then you’ve lost me. Nnamdi Asomugha is no question the best cornerback in the league. He’s done it longer than Darrelle Revis. He’s the man. But he’s 30, and while he may be the best – he’s not 20 million dollars better than say, a guy like Johnathan Joseph who is also very good, but three or four years younger.
What happens if the Texans get into a long, protracted bidding war over Asomugha, and lose out on Plan B? Plus, I don’t think it takes a football genius to make this clear, but Nnamdi Asomugha alone isn’t going to turn this defense around. You still need (at least one) real safety, and you still need some semblance of a pass rush.
Sure, Champ Bailey has had an excellent career post-30, but how many other guys at his position can you say that about? Not a lot, but there are a few elite ones you can say that about. Is Nnamdi destined to be one of those guys? He might be. Do you want to sign him and NOBODY ELSE OF SIGNIFICANCE to find out, with this historically brutal defense coming back? Just based on faith in Wade Phillips?
I would be positively GIDDY if the Texans signed Nnamdi Asomugha, even if they had to seriously overpay to do so (which they would have to do). I just don’t think people need to be grabbing torches and pitchforks and marching on Reliant if it turns out the Texans back out of the bidding once the price gets too high. This defensive backfield absolutely can turn around with a GOOD free agent corner and a solid-to-good safety addition… especially if Wade can get this team to get after the quarterback.