Monday’s Morning Links:
Nnamdi Asomugha Declared A Free Agent: Asomugha along with Darrell Revis is a true shutdown corner in this league, and with him on the open market I believe a number of teams will be calling. Not only did Asomugha’s contract void, but it also ensured that the Raiders couldn’t place either their Franchise or Transition tags on him, allowing him complete control of choosing his next destination. Asomugha at times gets overlooked by fans as an elite quarterback because he doesn’t get interceptions. In fact over the last four seasons he has just three interceptions, including zero this season. His lack of picks has nothing to do with not having good hands, but rather the fact teams just won’t throw against him. He was only targeted 33 times this past season, with only 13 of those being complete. He is the type of corner that will take away an entire side of the field or a team’s elite receiver. Asomugha should be the top free agent available and in all likelihood will sign a record deal.
Cardinals Looking To Extend Larry Fitzgerald: With just one year remaining on his contract the Arizona Cardinals are looking to lock up their star receiver before he gets anywhere close to the open market. Fitzgerald also has an agreement with the team not to Franchise him if he makes it to free agency, giving the Cardinals extra incentive to resign him. Fitzgerald is one of the elite receivers in this league, and posted his 5th career 1,000 yard season, despite the Cardinals having a revolving door at the quarterback position. Three different players lined up behind center this year for the Cardinals, including two rookies and yet it didn’t faze Fitzgerald. Now while his numbers didn’t falter, it was clear that Fitzgerald was frustrated this season with the poor quarterback/ overall team play. I would expect that the Cardinals are sharing with him their vision this offseason, one that I assume involves adding another quarterback, wide receivers and offensive linemen. Arizona was unprepared this season, and I just don’t see Fitzgerald signing on the dotted line unless they show a commitment to improving the team. Given his extensive value, if the Cardinals can’t workout an extension, I would imagine they would look to trade Fitzgerald now when they can get a first round pick for him, instead of waiting until the season starts when they’d be forced to settle for a 2012 pick. It would be hard to swallow, trading their star player but they just can’t afford to let him walk without getting anything in return.