One of the top players on the free agent market, Nnamdi Asomugha, was being talked about all day today, with everyone wondering where he was going to be playing football next season.
For a while, it was looking like a two-horse race between the New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, it turned out that neither of those teams was able to snag Nnamdi, and a team that nobody saw coming, the Philadelphia Eagles, inked Asomugha to a five-year $60 million deal, with $23 million guaranteed.
It always looked like the Jets and Cowboys were the top suitors for Nnamdi, and the 49ers, Buccaneers, and Texans were also said to be in the mix, but the Eagles weren’t seriously considered, especially after acquiring Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in part of the trade that sent Kevin Kolb to Arizona.
The Jets went hard after Nnamdi, and even let Brad Smith sign elsewhere with the Bills, and players such as LaDanian Tomlinson, Calvin Pace, and Bart Scott to name a few restructured their contracts to make room for Asomugha.
They also haven’t been aggressively pursuing their own free agent cornerback, Antonio Cromartie, and you have to think they will turn their full attention back to him. But, how will Cromartie react to being the team’s 2nd option? I think there is a good chance that Cromartie now ends up elsewhere, and New York has to settle for someone like Ravens free-agent corner Chris Carr.
Jets fans were also ready to tout the cornerback tandem of Asomugha and Darrelle Revis as the “No Fly Zone”, and it now seems like the Eagles have the “No Fly Zone” with the embarrassment of riches Philadelphia is now sporting in their secondary.
After trading for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Eagles already had three pretty good corners with him, Asante Samuel, and Joselio Hanson. Now, you add Nnamdi to the mix, and the Eagles seem to have the best group of corners in the NFL.
It’s going to be interesting to see if the Eagles choose to keep all four of those cornerbacks, or if they look to address other needs by trading one of them, most likely Asante Samuel.
The Eagles now have three cornerbacks with a success rate of higher than 60% (Asomugha, Samuel, and Hanson), and another in Rodgers-Cromartie, who was the #1 cornerback on his team last season.
Asomugha, and Samuel will be the #1 and #2 corners, with Rodgers-Cromartie as the nickel, and Hanson as the dime. Wow. I’m sure Tony Romo, Eli Manning, and John Beck are about to start having nightmares.
This is doubly bad for the Cowboys. Not only were they unable to sign Nnamdi, but they watched as another team in the division signed him instead.
Acquiring Nnamdi has to put the Eagles as one of the favorites in the NFC. The Eagles won 10 games last season, but were eliminated in the Wildcard Round by the eventual Super Bowl Champion, Green Bay Packers.
The Eagles obviously have other things they need to work on, but they will start the season as one of the favorites to represent the conference in Super Bowl 46.