Three-time Raiders Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has had the option year of his contract voided for failing to meet several incentives this past season, making him free to sign with any of the league's 32 teams.
"The contract is voided, but we have to wait on all the ramifications of the CBA before we really move on from there," Raiders senior executive John Herrera said Sunday in reference to the uncertain status of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that has yet to be renewed.
Asomugha, who turns 30 before training camp begins next season, could have been retained by the Raiders for 2011 had he reached any of several likely-to-be-earned incentives this past season. But he failed to intercept a pass, recover a fumble or record a sack, and he didn't log as much playing time as he did in 2009. That resulted in his contract being voided.
The Raiders signed Asomugha to a two-year contract in 2009 for $28.5 million. The contract contained a team option that would have netted Asomugha almost $16.9 million or the average of the five highest-paid quarterbacks, whichever was greater.
It's uncertain whether the Raiders would have exercised the option on Asomugha's contract had he reached one of the incentives. They still have the option of starting from scratch and working out a new contract with Asomugha.
Asomugha could not be reached for comment. A phone call to his publicist was not returned.
The Raiders now have 29 players headed to free agency unless the Raiders re-sign some or all of them before they are eligible to hit the open market.
Free safety Michael Huff and cornerback Stanford Routt also are prospective free agents for the Raiders.
"Looks like Nnamdi is on the market ... so he's a free agent," Huff said on his Twitter account. "I'm a free agent and Routt is a free agent. This is going to be interesting."
The Raiders can't use the franchise tag on Asomugha -- as they did in 2008 to the tune of $9.8 million -- because of language in the contract that prohibits them from doing so again.
Asomugha allowed only 10 receptions for 166 yards and no touchdowns this season. He has been named a starter for three straight Pro Bowls, including the upcoming game on Jan. 30.
His value lies in his ability to neutralize the opposing team's top receiver. Still, the Raiders won only eight games this season and have just 37 wins during Asomugha's eight seasons.
The Raiders used the franchise tag on cornerback Charles Woodson in 2004 and 2005 but opted to move on without him after that, in part because of Asomugha's emergence.
The Raiders are without any cornerbacks who are close to Asomugha's talent level. However, it's conceivable that the Raiders will let Asomugha go elsewhere so they can use that money on other prospective free agents.