Asomugha's Raiders contract voids

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Asomugha's Raiders contract voids

Jan. 9, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVERAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEOPaul GutierrezCSNCalifornia.com

The offseason market for shutdown cornerbacks in the NFL just got more intriguing. And expensive. Nnamdi Asomughas massive contract option for 2011 has voided as the four-time Pro Bowler will be a free agent and the Raiders will not be able to use their franchise tag on him.In short, neither Asomugha nor Raiders owner Al Davis voided the contract; it essentially voided itself due to the player not meeting certain incentives.The contract is voided, but we have to wait on the (new) CBA to know the exact ramifications, Raiders senior executive John Herrera told CSNCalifornia.com.The lack of a new CBA threatens a lockout by owners next season as well as potentially defining free agents.ESPN reported the contract voiding Sunday morning.Since Asomugha signed that record (for a defensive back) three-year, 45.3-million contract, with 28.5 million guaranteed, in 2009, it had been reported that the third-year option, if picked up by the Raiders, guaranteed him 16.875-million or the average salary of the top-five paid quarterbacks in the NFL, whichever figure was higher.But the ESPN report, citing an NFL Players Association document, quoted a clause in the contract voiding it if Asomugha did not achieve certain incentives in 2010 -- which he did not. As such, there was a corresponding stipulation by Oakland it would then not designate him as its franchise player.According to the document, Asomugha had to play in more defensive plays this past season than he did in 2009. A badly sprained ankle on Halloween forced him to miss two games and he was used sparingly down the stretch.
Also, incentives could have been reached had he had more interceptions, fumble recoveries or sacks in 2010. Of the three categories, he had only one interception in 2009. Asomugha was shut out across the board this season.Less than a week after the Raiders season finale 31-10 victory at AFC West division champion Kansas City, fans are up in arms.NEWS: Ravens knock Kansas City from playoffs 30-7
Many were already upset at Davis for his decision Tuesday to not pick up the two-year, 5-million option on Tom Cables contract to return as coach after leading the Raiders to an 8-8 season, their first finish with fewer than 11 losses since 2002.Davis was not pleased with going .500, though, and told CSN California, If thats the world you live in, when asked if 8-8 was a good finish following the win at Kansas City.With Asomugha now set to become a free agent, he joins other Raiders mainstays such as fellow DBs Michael Huff and Stanford Routt, offensive linemen Robert Gallery, Langston Walker and Mario Henderson, defensive linemen Richard Seymour and John Henderson, tight end Zach Miller, linebacker Thomas Howard, wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins and running back Michael Bush on the free-agent market, per a new CBA.
Looks like nnamdi is hittin the market....so he's a free agent, I'm a free agent, and routt is a free agent. This is gonna be interesting, Huff Tweeted.Of course I wanna be back....I love the raidernation.
It is hard to imagine the Raiders paying up to 17 million for Asomugha when they have so many other concerns and with a relative lack of on-field success since they used their first-round pick, No. 31 overall, on him out of Cal in 2003.And it is hard to imagine Asomugha settling for a significant hometown discount to return to Oakland, given where Davis has already set the salary bar.Still, Asomugha is considered, along with the New York Jets Darrelle Revis, the top cover corner in the game, what with teams often shying away from his side of the field.After a rough start to his career, and learning at the knee of Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, Asomugha blossomed with eight interceptions in 2006, including a 24-yard touchdown return against Pittsburghs Ben Roethlisberger.Since then, Asomugha had one interception in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively.Emails to Asomugha and his agent, Tom Condon, have not been answered.

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

ALAMEDA – Gareon Conley’s name has been sullied, at least temporarily. He feared it would be long enough to send him free falling down the NFL Draft.

The Ohio State cornerback and top-15 prospect was accused of rape stemming from an April 9 incident in Cleveland, an allegation he called “completely false.”

The Raiders clearly believe him. That’s why they drafted him No. 24 overall on Thursday evening, and expect him to be a long-term solution in their secondary.

Conley wasn’t sure how far he’d fall after being beaten down by one rough week, when the allegation went public. Reggie McKenzie’s first-round selection and subsequent call was more emotional than expected.

“It made it 10 times more special,” Conley said Thursday night in a conference call. “Just having that doubt in my mind, just not knowing (how far I would fall). Just having faith and having doubt, I didn’t know what was going to happen. When it came, it shocked me. It felt unreal, honestly. It still feels unreal.”

Being a top pick was expected after an excellent career at Ohio State. The rape accusation threatened to destroy his draft-day dreams. Conley has not been arrested or charged in relation to the incident, though an investigation is ongoing.

Conley said he volunteered to take a polygraph test that was shared with NFL teams, and reportedly passed the one he took. He said in a statement there are witnesses and video evidence proving he didn’t do anything illegal.

Conley spent the last few days trying to proclaim his innocence. 

He is scheduled to meet with Cleveland police on Monday to discuss the April 9 incident -- he'll also submit a DNA sample, according to ESPN -- where group sex was suggested and a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted.

Conley believes his name will be cleared in time.

“I’m very confident it will be resolved," Conley said. "I took a test today that helps. Then when I made my statement and all the evidence that I have, I feel confident it’ll be resolved.”

Conley admits he shouldn’t have put himself in a compromising position, which occurred at a Cleveland hotel earlier this month.

“I could’ve made way better judgment,” Conley said. “I mean, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I definitely could’ve made a better decision.”

Conley hopes to move beyond it quickly and start focusing on football. He is scheduled to fly west for a press conference on Friday.

Conley is thankful to the Raiders for believing in him despite his recent troubles.

“It’s off the charts, honestly,” Conley said. “Just to know that they have faith in me, not even just as a football player but as a person like that, it speaks highly of them, and I really appreciate it. It’s an honor to be a part of the Raider organization.”

McKenzie: Raiders did their 'due diligence' before drafting Gareon Conley

McKenzie: Raiders did their 'due diligence' before drafting Gareon Conley

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders used the No. 24 overall pick on Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley. This wasn’t a second-round flier or a late-round gamble.

That’s a first-round pick. Rolling the dice this early is ill advised. The Raiders don't believe they did with a selection accompanied by a $5.78 million signing bonus, $10.5 million in total money and a valuable fifth-year option to keep a player in town.

They wouldn’t risk such an asset on someone in serious legal trouble. The Raiders did significant research on Conley, who was accused of rape earlier this week, before making a selection. Results gave the Raiders confidence in their choice. 

Conley has not been arrested or charged over an allegation that stems from an April 9 interaction in a Cleveland hotel.

Conley said the accusations are “completely false,” in a statement released by his agent. He claims to have witnesses and video evidence that he didn’t do anything illegal during an exchange where group sex was suggested. He is scheduled to meet with Cleveland police about the allegation and an investigation into it on Monday.

Conley said he took and passed polygraph test prior to the draft, hoping to avoid a free fall into the draft’s later rounds.

The Raiders clearly believe him. They wouldn’t have used such a high pick on the Ohio State cornerback otherwise. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said the team thoroughly investigated the matter, and felt comfortable using a high pick on someone who sat alone atop their draft board at No. 24 overall.

“We did our due diligence throughout this whole process,” McKenzie said Thursday night, after making the Conley pick. “We trust our research, reports, everything that we have on Mr. Conley. We feel really good about picking Gareon Conley and having him join the Raiders team and having him be a great teammate for our players.”

McKenzie didn’t detail the Raiders research efforts, but didn’t seem concerned about this off-field issue.

“I don’t want to get into all the details,” McKenzie said, “but the bottom line is that we’ve done miles and miles of research to make sure we were totally comfortable with our decision, which we were.”

McKenzie said he spoke with owner Mark Davis about Conley, as he does most first-round options.

The Raiders were impressed by Conley’s workouts and his game tape. The rape accusation obviously gave the NFL pause regarding his draft status, and he slipped somewhat in the first round.

The Raiders are confident following an internal investigation that his legal troubles will pass without incident.

“The research was done,” McKenzie said. "It wasn’t just a gut (feeling). It was based on research, and we’re very confident in all the information that we got.”