Paul Gutierrez from CSN interviewed Nnamdi after the first day of Pro Bowl practice. Excerpts below for your interpretive entertainment. I think Nnamdi is scared of Al.
Gutierrez: Is it crazy, or strange, then, to be here at the Pro Bowl wearing Raiders gear since you’re technically a free agent?
Asomugha: "No, it’s not strange at all. In fact, I wanted to. There’s no other way that I’d have it. I’ll represent the Raiders and I’ll continue to represent the Raiders while I’m there no mater what. They asked me about the Walter Payton Award stuff, ‘How do we recognize you?’ I said, ‘I’m with the Raiders. List me as the Raiders cornerback.’"
On the Cable situation:
"Obviously, we don’t know all the reasons why decisions are made but it was one that I thought going through the year, the way we were playing, ‘OK, at least we’ll get to the end of the year and this won’t be something that we’ll talk about. This won’t be an issue like it has in the past.’"When you go 2-14 then you’re like, ‘OK, something might happen. So maybe it might be good to talk and see what can happen.’ But you go 8-8 and you think you’re maybe on the upswing so no one was really thinking about that. But then it happened and when it’s done, I think (there is) no better guy to take over than Hue because Hue was a part of the 8-8 season."
On the dismissal of assistant coaches:
"Tollner? Hackett? OK Wow."
Nnamdi hasn't watched the Al press conference or spoken with Al recently, but here is what he says about their (apparently tense) conversation last year, in too many words:
Gutierrez: You were brought up [during the press conference], obviously, and he talked about how he called you last year to ask if you wanted to be traded to New York but you said you wanted to come back. You remember that conversation?
Asomugha: "Oh yeah, 100 percent that’s a true story. That’s a true story. He called me. He called me and he asked me, ‘What do you want to do? You want to be traded?’ I didn’t know that was something that was going to be discussed to the media, but it was and it’s a true story. Everything he said was true. He asked that, asked me if I wanted to be traded because he was hearing that I wanted to be traded. I said, ‘No, I don’t want to be traded.’ I told him, ‘Everything you heard, you didn’t hear from me. I’ve never been quoted saying I want to be traded.’ So it was upsetting that it hit so many people in that way when it was such a fabricated story. We’re here at the Pro Bowl and no one ever says that, and no one ever alludes to it. It’s just (Darrelle Revis saying), ‘Oh, it’s fun to play with this guy,’ joking around, and the guy writes a story because he’s trying to find a story. And you see the power of the media after doing that. No offense, but something can start off as a little flicker and then just blow up and then you just see it everywhere, ‘Oh, Nnamdi wants out.’ It reminded of that Dwyane Wade commercial where he’s in the closet and he’s trying to get out and he yells, ‘I want out!’ Now it’s spread and I’m like, ‘I never, ever said that. Never felt that. Never would have said that and it hit (Davis).’ So when I heard him ask me, do I want to be traded, I can’t believe that this is even coming to this because this is such a crazy story."
On being a free agent:
Gutierrez: You’re a California guy -- went to high school in L.A., went to college at Cal, have played only for the Raiders, have developed a huge fan base. You’re also a worldly guy with your foundation and social work. Being a free agent and being untethered could be a scary thing, or are you excited about the potential of dipping your toes in the waters of free agency?
Asomugha: "I would say that it’s not…it’s not one of those things that I was super happy about, you know? Not one of those things that I was happy about when I found out. Just because of everything that we’ve been through and how far we have gotten, to now have all these decisions be made and it’s not how it’s been every year. It’s never been like this before. A couple of years ago it was like, Oh, well, you’re going to be a free agent. Then I get franchised. And then the next year it’s like, Oh, you’re going to be a free agent. And then I sign the contract. And then the next year, Oh, you’re going to be traded. And I’m still back. Now, this year, Oh, you’re going to be a free agent. Like I said, we’ve seen so many different scenarios happen, I just don’t know what to expect. We don’t know what’s going to happen."
Gutierrez: You see where Al Davis essentially complimented you for being worth $17 million, but wondered aloud whether he could get two or three decent players at that price?
Asomugha: "Yeah, I heard about that. I can’t read too much into that, because [...] it’s been done to me. I never told that reporter I wanted to leave. I never told him I wanted to be traded but people tried to read into something and took something from it. I’m not going to read into that. I know that people then said, ‘Oh, well the hint is, he was giving a hint that he was going to cut you. He was going to cut Nnamdi.’ I don’t deal with hints. I don’t work on hints. So I’m not going to read into anything that he said. The fact of the matter is, we are where we are. You can’t go back and try to replay it."