The big news in Who Dat Nation this weekend was the visit of free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
It was originally revealed, as far as I can tell, by Matt Maiocco, who said that Nnamdi would be meeting with the Saints. I repeat: the Saints. As in the organization.
Free agent CB Nnamdi Asomugha is scheduled to visit the Saints tomorrow, according to a source.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) March 17, 2013
But if we're being more specific, Asomugha's visit was really with Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. And only Rob Ryan.
Alarms are immediately going off in my head. This doesn't smell right.
Yesterday at 2:59pm CST Kristian Garic tweeted that Asomugha and Ryan were spotted having lunch in Metairie.
Nnamdi Asomugha siting today in Metairie at lunch with #Saints DC Rob Ryan.— Kristian Garic (@KristianGaric1) March 17, 2013
No Sean Payton. No Mickey Loomis. Not even Payton's consigliere, Joe Vitt. Just Ryan.
In addition, Larry Holder tweeted that Payton and Loomis were actually in Phoenix for the NFL owners meeting. This was at 5:56pm CST.
#Saints coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis are in Phoenix already for the NFL owners meetings. As am I.— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) March 17, 2013
All of this has to lead us to wonder how serious the Saints actually are about signing the veteran cornerback. No move gets made without the consent of Payton and/or Loomis. We know this. They run the show. So a meeting in which those two aren't present does not look or sound very meaningful. Sunday's little brunch date sounds more like two old friends catching up.
There are only three scenarios that I can possibly imagine from here:
1. The Saints genuinely aren't interested in signing Asomugha. This meeting was just a decoy visit to help Asomugha pressure another interested team (the 49ers?) or drive up the price of a potential contract from another team.
2. The Saints genuinely aren't interested in signing Asomugha. Rob Ryan has simply gone rogue, blinded by some irrational Asomugha obsession.
3. This was a strategic pitch by Payton and Loomis, channeling their inner Don Draper and sending in the single person most comfortable with Asomugha, to gently make him understand that New Orleans is where he wants to be in 2013, maybe even for slightly less money than he's expecting.
If I was a betting man, my money would be on #1. But what the hell do I know? Regardless of what may be the situation, I think we can shelve all the Asomugha talk for a little while. I don't expect the team to be announcing his signing any time soon, if at all.