After rampant speculation Friday that all-pro CB Nnamdi Asomugha was headed for either the New York Jets or Dallas Cowboys, a third team intercepted him. It wasn’t the Houston Texans nor was it the San Francisco 49ers just across the Bay from his former Oakland home. The Philadelphia Eagles swooped in to sign Asomugha to a five-year $60 million deal right after the free-agent market officially opened at 6 p.m. ET Friday evening.
The news came on the heels of the Arizona Cardinals trade which brought back Pro Bowl CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as part of the Kevin Kolb deal (a second round pick was included). Eagles officials remained tight-lipped about Asomugha indicating that they were thrilled to get “DRC” in a fair and balanced deal for Kolb. Eagles officials also remained tight-lipped about the potential holdout of disgruntled CB Asante Samuel, who wasn’t officially a holdout until Friday afternoon’s practice.
Asomugha turned 30 earlier this month, and the Eagles traditionally phase out skill players at that age more ceremoniously than the 1970s dystopian sci-fi classic Logan’s Run (http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2011/03/09/westbrook-in-philly/).
Bucking their own trend, the Eagles signed Asomugha to a 5-year deal. This is indicative of the special talent he is, a Pro Bowler the past three years and first-team all-pro twice in that period. Santana Moss, Hakeem Nicks, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are not likely to be the least bit happy about Asomugha’s transition to the NFC East – especially with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie patrolling the “weaker” side of the defensive backfield.
Nnamdi Asomugha was recently ranked the 18th-best player by his peers in NFL Network’s The Top 100 Players of 2011; the Jets’ Darrelle Revis was the only corner ranked higher at No. 8. Many thought was Revis on the verge of being Asomugha’s teammate this week. Rumor had circulated that Asomugha wanted to take advantage of the proximity of Broadway and Madison Avenue and all that the New York market offers. The Cardinals also entered the Asomugha bidding late according to FOXSports and other sources. Then again, what better stage could there be than 17 weeks of NFL exposure followed by the postseason and Super Bowl?
The addition of Asomugha casts the future of Asante Samuel, Philly’s other Pro Bowl corner, into doubt. More eyebrows are certain to be raised as well given Eagles Pro Bowl WR DeSean Jackson is also holding out of camp, unhappy with the $565,000 he’s due to make in the final year of his rookie deal.
Jackson did offer a message of support to Asomugha (both are former Cal Bears) via Twitter: “CONGRATS TO MY BIG BRO 21 NNAMBI ASOMUGHA FOR BECOMING A EAGLE!!” As for speculation surrounding Jackson’s unsettled situation or other issues the team could be facing in the coming days, the Eagles were content to bask in today’s haul. It remains far more likely that the Eagles will find the funds to sign Jackson than Samuel.
“All those questions are for another day,” said Eagles GM Howie Roseman on Friday night.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org