Situation Surrounding Eagles’ Asomugha
It is no secret that since joining the Eagles in 2011 cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has been a huge disappointment. After 8 seasons with the Oakland Raiders–3 of which he went to the Pro Bowl–Asomugha was thought to be the biggest free agent signing during the 2011 offseason as he was among many headline acquisitions by the Eagles. He joined a secondary that already included former Eagles corner Asante Samuel and the then newly acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, giving Philadelphia a seemingly unstoppable pass defense. What ensued was something of a debacle as the team finished 8-8, missing the playoffs.
Last season was even worse for the Eagles as they finished just 4-12, with Asomugha having yet another underwhelming year. He finished the season with just 1 interception and only 12 passes defended. With Oakland, Asomugha was a man to man defender, usually lining up directly across from the opposing team’s number 1 receiver and guarding him all game no matter where he lined up. The Eagles asked Nnamdi to play a lot more zone coverage and his shortcomings became more obvious. For a cornerback who turning 32 and who is scheduled to make up to $15 million for the 2013 season, the level of play he has provided will not be accepted. The Eagles have asked Asomugha to restructure his massive contract and if he does not, the team has informed him they will move forward and release him.
Now a report by WIP Radio in Philadelphia is reporting that Asomugha declined to eat lunch with his teammates at times last season, instead opting to eat in his car which reveals the discontent Nnamdi has playing in Philly. If he is released, there will be a potential steal for a team looking for help at cornerback on the market. Despite his age and recent struggles with the Eagles, Asomugha still has the potential to be a shutdown corner capable of closing off half the field to opposing quarterbacks. He will likely have to come down on his $15 million price tag, but something tells me he is only resisting that with the Eagles in order to get out of Philly after their offered ultimatum.
Another factor in this very fluid situation is the Eagles other starting cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but if Nnamdi does not agree to a restructuring of his current deal and the Eagles release him, Rodgers-Cromartie may become that much more important to resign. At the end of the day it very possible that neither of these corners is on the roster come opening day, and if that is the case look for the Eagles to pursue possible replacements during free agency and via the draft. It was already reported that Philly is considering pursuing Miami Dolphins corner Sean Smith, so keep your eyes on the Eagles to see how this situation continues to develop.
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