Eagles pull off stunner, sign CB Asomugha

Posted July 29, 2011 @ 6:30 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

The Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes are over, and he is not going to be playing for either Ryan brother.

After much attention was focused on the Jets and Cowboys as likely landing spots for the Pro Bowl corner, the Eagles swooped in and signed Asomugha to a five-year deal worth $60 million with $25 million guaranteed. ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the contract numbers.

Asomugha was the top free agent available, and the Eagles were one of the early suitors, but by Friday afternoon reports indicated it was either the Cowboys, with defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, or the Jets and Rob's brother, head coach Rex Ryan.

When free agency officially began at 6 p.m. ET, reports indicated the Jets had dropped out of negotiations, leading to the belief that the Cowboys had won. But instead, the Eagles got another significant addition to their defense.

Asomugha is a three-time Pro Bowler with 11 career interceptions. He spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Raiders.

The Eagles have also added CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie via a trade with the Cardinals and agreed to terms with former Titans DE Jason Babin.

The way we see it

The Eagles came in at the last minute and pulled a shocker. They backdoored the Cowboys and landed the top available cover corner on the market. Right corner was a huge trouble spot all last season, and this instantly cures that issue. He's a big, physical press corner who loves to get in receivers' faces. Considering the size of wideouts we see in the NFC East — Hakeem Nicks and Dez Bryant, to name two — this is an outstanding matchup move.

Now, here's the intriguing part — what do the Eagles do with Asante Samuel? He has a base salary of nearly $6 million and a cap hit of more than $9 million. The club reportedly butted heads with Samuel last season for his constant freelancing and disinterest in tackling.

Samuel currently is not in Bethlehem, Pa. for training camp, excused for "personal reasons." Could the Eagles trade or dump him? Might they have known something was in the hopper all along? Perhaps.

This also has an effect on the DeSean Jackson situation. The holdout receiver is not getting a new deal — not until he shows up. That's not the way the Eagles operate; they don't get strong-armed into contracts. So when Jackson sees the Asomugha salary figure from home, what will he think? It could trigger him to report sooner rather than later — or make him dig his heels in even harder.

The NFC East landscape just changed dramatically. The Eagles' defense just got better. There are moves on the horizon, big ones, too. Keep tuned in. Things just got a lot more interesting in Philly.