Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha responded to the strong reaction to comments he and Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis made about their desire to play together in the future. He said the whole thing is a case of joking around being blown out of proportion.
“The only thing we were ‘dead serious’ about was the fact that it would be fun to one day play on the same team,” Asomugha said in an e-mail to David White of the San Francisco Chronicle. “That’s all. We were two guys enjoying the Pro Bowl and completely clowning around during the week. We were playfully recruiting each other; I was talking about getting him to Oakland and vice versa.”
The reason why any deal was made about the comments to Tim Graham of ESPN.com is that Asomugha said that the two cornerbacks had approached Jets coach Rex Ryan with their plans of playing together. That raises the issue of tampering, although the nature of their comments in total would put the Raiders at some risk if they were to engage in an unlikely pursuit of Revis.
Whether or not Asomugha’s e-mail is enough to put off a tampering investigation and/or penalty remains to be seen.
Asomugha said that he’s a “proud Oakland Raider” and has no intention of leaving the team that’s made him a very rich man and could soon make him even richer than expected. Asomugha is due to make $16.8 million in 2011, but that number could go up if Peyton Manning and the Colts agree on a new deal.
Asomugha’s contract states that he will be paid $16.8 million or the average of the top-five quarterback salaries, a number that would almost certainly escalate if Manning re-negotiates his contract to become, as Colts owner Jim Irsay promised, the league’s highest paid player.