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A Giant Proposal to Bring Nnamdi Asomugha to New York

One of the league's best cornerbacks is a free agent.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The Giants seem to be very reluctant to make any big changes in the light of their 10-win, playoff-less 2010 season.

    We know this because Tom Coughlin acted like his team had just summitted Mount Everest in the moments after the end of their meaningless victory over the Redskins and because owner John Mara and general manager Jerry Reese each indicated that there wouldn't be much change in the status quo. There's nothing surprising about that, although all of those men spoke before it became public knowledge that Nnamdi Asomugha would be on the open market this season.

    Asomugha's contract with the Raiders became void because of a mostly overlooked clause having to do with unearned incentives earlier in his deal. That immediately changed the landscape of the NFL offseason (assuming, of course, that there actually is an offseason or a 2011 season because of the coming war between owners and players). Asomugha is widely considered to be one of the few contenders for best cornerback in the NFL and, at 30, he's got several years ahead of him to continue to play at a high level. 

    That should make him incredibly appetizing to the Giants. According to Pro Football Focus, teams threw at Asomugha only 29 times in 2010, numbers that helped the other 10 players on the Raiders defense carry Oakland to an unexpected 8-8 record. The Giants, for their many defensive charms, still struggle in the secondary when their pass rush isn't able to find its way to the quarterback.

    Asomugha would help them take care of that in a big hurry, a pretty useful bit of help to have when the other team has the ball. Just look at what Darrelle Revis meant to the Jets on Saturday night. His presence spooked the mighty Peyton Manning enough to limit Reggie Wayne to one target and one catch for one yard. And the Jets don't have a pass rush anywhere close to the one that the Giants can throw at opposing offenses.

    There's a notion that the Giants are somehow too conservative to go out and sign a player at Asomugha's level. History doesn't bear that out. They went out and signed Plaxico Burress as a free agent, wasted tons of cash on Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard and Michael Boley and threw tons of money (we'll wait one more year before saying that was wasted too) at Antrel Rolle before last season.

    So they are, in fact, willing to wade into free agent waters and none of those players have anything close to Asomugha's ability or his resume. Asomugha makes sense on the field and he fits right into the Giants' philosophy of doing business. That means he should be in blue whenever the 2011 season kicks off.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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