Nnamdi Asomugha’s spectacular fall from the top of the NFL is now complete, as the San Francisco 49ers waived him on Monday. The 32-year-old cornerback has gone from one of the NFL’s best players to a guy looking for work in just three seasons.
Asomugha has played in just three games this season and graded out near the bottom in Pro Football Focus’ pass and run defense ratings. He had been a healthy scratch in each of San Francisco’s last three games. He had just two tackles this season and hasn’t been on the field since September 22.
Asomugha is being cut to make room for fellow cornerback Eric Wright on the roster. Wright had been on the reserve/non-football injury list.
Asomugha was regarded as the top free agent on the market during the 2011 offseason, and he signed a five-year, $60 million deal ($25 million guaranteed) with the Philadelphia Eagles. His work with the Oakland Raiders was what earned him that deal, and he lasted just two seasons in Philly.
The Cal product was drafted by the Raiders with the 31st pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. While in Oakland Asomugha was a three-time Pro Bowler (2008, 2009 and 2010) and a four-time All-Pro (2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010). He was also named the Raiders’ team MVP twice (2006 and 2008). He was regarded as the NFL’s premier cover corner by the time he hit free agency in 2011.
He was also named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s.
Asomugha wasn’t terrible in Philadelphia, but he was certainly a disappointment along with the rest of his teammates. He was brought in to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL and he didn’t live up to that billing. The Eagles went just 12-20 during Asomugha’s time with the team. The Eagles released him after the 2012 season after the two sides were unable to agree on a restructured contract.
In April the 49ers signed him to a one-year deal with a base salary of $1.35 million.
Both Asomugha and Darrelle Revis were considered the top cornerbacks in the NFL just a few years ago and now both are struggling and have been surpassed by other players.