The signing we’ve waited all week for has finally happened just after the real free agency period started, and the period that teams were signing but not really signing players ended.
Nnamdi Asomugha has a new place of NFL employment. But it’s not in New York to form a cornerback superfreak tandem with Darrelle Revis, and it’s not in Dallas or San Francisco to salvage their ailing secondaries.
Asomugha is now feeling the love of the city that shares plenty of it, and it’s usually of the brotherly variety. He’s an Eagle after agreeing to a five-year deal with Philadelphia.
Please excuse us while we strap on our neck brace. As is so often the case with high-profile signings, while the Cowboys and Jets were reported as Asomugha’s primary suitors, and the 49ers were bringing up the rear, the Eagles weren’t mentioned until about 5:58 p.m. ET on Friday. They were already legitimate Super Bowl contenders after Michael Vick’s emergence. Now they’re somewhere beyond that (Super Bowl favorites? Winners?!?).
Since the free agency signing period is indeed officially under way, we don’t even have to insert words like “report” that cover our ass while we wait for Adam Schefter’s 92nd confirmation of the week. The Eagles issued a press release announcing the move, and boasting about the league-low 2,177 completions the Raiders allowed since Asomugha’s arrival as a first-round pick way back in those hazy days of 2003.
We still need Schefter for the financial terms of the deal though. The ESPN oracle of free agent information reports that Asomugha will receive $60 million over the next five years, $25 million of which is guaranteed.
The Eagles had a mid-tier secondary last year, ranking 14th in the league after surrendering an average of 216.8 yards per game. Barring an injury, that yardage number is now set to plummet after the signing of Asomugha and the acquisition of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie earlier this week in the trade that sent former backup quarterback Kevin Kolb to Arizona.
Combine that with a pass rush that was in top 10 last year and added Jason Babin and his 13 sacks yesterday, and suddenly the holes in this Eagles defence are scarce. Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman fleeced the Cardinals, and now they elbowed a division rival out of the way in the arms race for the most coveted prize in a frenzied and historic free agency period.
The elbowing won’t end there either.