Most Eagle fans agree that signing Nnamdi Asomugha is a move that the Eagles must, at the very minimum, strongly consider. He’s, as I’m sure you’ve heard, an elite lockdown corner, unlike Asante Samuel. Asante is an elite off-man gambler who essentially plays as a free safety with limited responsibilities. He diagnoses routes and jumps them. Nnamdi Asomugha can play with a cushion, but is more of a press corner who shadows receivers instead of guessing. He is very big and tall (6’2″, 210), loves to hit, and is as well-rounded a player as you will find in the NFL. He will obviously carry a hefty price tag with him. Darrelle Revis is making $11.5 million per season because he gave the Jets a hometown discount. Julius Peppers is costing the Bears around $14 million a year, and Albert Haynesworth is slightly above that at around $14.3 million per year. Asomugha should command a total slightly above that. On the open market, I expect Asomugha will be able to receive about $90 million over a six-year deal. Is he worth it?
I’d say so. A defense with two elite corners will be the best the Eagles have seen in a long time. Keep in mind that Philly has a ton of cap room and Asomugha would be a much more solid solution at right corner than a mid-level signing and drafting a rookie such as Brandon Harris. We won’t be the only team who can afford Nnamdi’s unprecedented contract demands. Who are the other possibilities? Let’s take a look:
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens need some corner help as their youngsters (Fabian Washington, Josh Wilson, Ladarius Webb) have been oft-injured and nothing more than adequate. Resigning stud defensive lineman Haloti Ngata is priority number one, but if they have money left over, they could make a legitimate run for Aso.
Dallas Cowboys: Dallas had a disastrous group in their defensive backfield, and Jerry Jones would love nothing better than to make a huge splash by inking Aso to a monster deal. The only problem is the salary cap. Dallas has one of the highest payrolls in the league, and would have to cut a whole bunch of players if they want to make a run at him, which is an awfully big risk.
Detroit Lions: Detroit could make the leap to playoff contention with an elite defender like Aso to pair with Louis Delmas, Ndamukong Suh, and Kyle Vanden Bosch. They have a lot of money, a smart defensive coordinator, and all the right ingredients that could entice Aso.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Their owner does not like to give out big contracts, but I’m sure he’d be willing to make an exception in this case. The Jaguars were a fringe playoff team in 2010 although they did not really play to the level of the four wild cards. Regardless, they will probably feel that Aso could vault them to a division championship in 2011 in a group where they must play Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub twice each.
Philadelphia Eagles: I’ve laid out the reasons why Aso would be a great fit. We should be in the running for him if we want him. In my opinion, we are the frontrunner for his services along with Detroit.