When the NFL lockout ends and free agency finally opens for 2011, there will be a frenzy of signings made by teams looking to fill needs. For teams with a need at cornerback, their top target will undoubtedly be Nnamdi Asomugha, who is set to become a free agent after spending eight seasons in Oakland with the Raiders.â†µ
The Detroit Lions have been mentioned as a "dark horse" to land Asomugha's services before by SI's Peter King, but it seemed to be based on speculation more than anything. Gil Brandt of NFL.com mentioned the Lions as potentially being a "front-runner" for Asomugha earlier this week, and it could be based on a combination of first-hand knowledge and speculation. I'll get to why in a second, but first here is what Brandt said:â†µ
Brandt believes the Lions have legitimate interest in Asomugha, and the situation in Detroit is one the two-time first-team All-Pro would consider.â†µ
"I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they make a big play for Asomugha," Brandt said. "And I think he would consider the situation in Detroit and playing for Jim Schwartz, who has won the respect of his team. A cornerback’s best friend is a great defensive line, and right now the Lions have a pretty good group of defensive linemen."â†µ
Before this year's draft, Brandt mentioned that he has a connection to Schwartz and didn't think the Lions would draft an offensive tackle in the first round. As we all know, the Lions drafted Nick Fairley, so Brandt's prediction came true. The situation with Asomugha is obviously much different, but the fact that the Lions are even being mentioned as a possible landing spot is a sign that there is at least some interest in targeting him from their end. Whether or not there is any mutual interest remains to be seen, but for now it's fun to think about how good the Lions' defense could be with Asomugha headlining the secondary.