Former Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha took to the podium today to announce his retirement from the NFL. He returned to the Raiders to retire with the team. He played 11 seasons, but his most successful were as a member of the silver and black. He was accompanied at his press conference by other great Oakland cornerbacks Charles Woodson, Lester Hayes and Willie Brown.
”Extremely grateful for Mark Davis and the Raiders' organization for bringing me back and allowing my career to come back full circle so I could retire as an Oakland Raider, the way it should be,” Asomugha said.
He was drafted as the 31st pick in the 2003 NFL Draft by Al Davis and the Raiders. He started one game as a rookie, then seven in his second year and every other game he played in as a Raider for the next six seasons. He started 99 games for the Raiders in total over his career. Asomugha was one of the best cornerbacks of the 2000's recording 11 interceptions, 271 tackles, and 62 passes defended in his time with Oakland. He was a three time Pro Bowl selection from 2008-2010 and made the first team All-Pro in 2008 and 2010.
“I think when I first came into the league; obviously not too many people really knew who I was,” Asomugha said. “When I first got here I was definitely called a reach. In great Al Davis fashion, he took a reach that he believed in and instilled confidence in me like no one else could and I was able to become all he expected of me. It is tough not having him around because I never got the opportunity to thank him.”
As a free agent in 2011, Asomugha left for a huge 60 million dollar deal to go to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. It turned into a flop as he never was able to bring his play to the level it was with Oakland. He only lasted two season before going to the San Francisco 49ers for the 2013 season.
Asomugha came full circle today as he came back to where his career started and retired with the Raiders. He had some spectacular moments with the silver and black and will go down as one of their best. He also left his mark with tremendous work in the community earning numerous service awards.
“I never got the opportunity to thank the fans after I left,” Asomugha said. “We were in a lockout season if you guys can remember and once free agency started everything happened so fast. It’s a great opportunity to be back so I can do those things and thank the fans for the wonderful memories and the great times we had here with the Raiders.”
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