Nnamdi Asomugha?!? Say it with me now, NAHM-dee AH-sem-wah. It’s a name that every Philadelphian will learn to perfect in the next five years and a name that you will be hearing plenty of in the days, weeks, and months to come. As free agency officially launched the Eagles made the biggest splash in this whirlwind of a week signing CB Nnamdi Asomugha to a five-year 60 million dollar deal on Friday evening. On a night that involved the Phillies trading for Houston Astro Hunter Pence you could say all is well in South Philly.
The Eagles have been busy as football frantically comes back to live after a five month layoff. Busy days and late nights resulted in the most coveted free agent prize bringing his talents to South Philadelphia. Just as the Jets seemed to be the team to most likely land Asomugha’s services the Eagles, the supposed “mystery” team came out of nowhere and landed the best cornerback in the NFL. The Eagles said that they were going to be aggressive once free agency started and on the first official day of free agency they backed those comments up with a bold statement.
After news of new additions Jason Babin, Vince Young, and Rodgers-Cromartie phans were anxiously awaiting what and when for something major to happen. After rumors circulated of the Cowgirls being in the running for Asomugha all hopes were on the New York Jets to keep that from happening. That is until the Birds flew under the radar and pulled a Cliff Lee-like move. Filling their biggest need at right corner.
Already with a cornerback duo of Asante Samuel and recently swapped for Kolb CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie the Eagles added the best CB in the game now bolstering a pass defense that ranked 29th in the NFL last season. With the addition of Asomugha the Eagles undoubtedly have the best CB trio in all of football. A trio that has combined for 8 Pro Bowl appearances. The question still remains whether or not Asante Samuel will remain with the team. GM Howie Roseman deflected those comments towards head coach Andy Reid Friday night but remarked that "no" Samuel was not on the trading block. Not since the days of Bobby Taylor, Troy Vincent, and Al Harris has the Birds CB situation looked so great.
Last year the Eagles allowed 34 passing touchdowns, and 36 red zone scores. In the red zone opposing QB’s completed 65% of their passes for 22 scores. Needless to say it WAS an area of extreme weakness for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. With playmaking corner Asante Samuel constantly playing the ball the right side of the field was left alone for Ellis Hobbs and or Dimitri Patterson to hold down. Holding down and possibly pulling the receiver to the ground would be the only way that either CB could prevent a pass from being completed.
From burnt toast to filet and lobster. Asomugha is undoubtedly the best cornerback in all of football, regardless of what those bums up north may have to say about their guy. Asomugha possesses great size and great speed. He is a physical, shut down cover corner with supreme perception on the field. His interceptions are so low because QB’s are scared to even throw it his way. He was targeted just 33 times last season and gave up only 13 completions for 205 yards. I repeat 13 completions. Asomugha is a great character guy with a will to win. His desire to win and win now is a strong reason why he chose Philadelphia to be his new home.
"He's a great player," Eagles GM Howie Roseman said. "We've always had an interest in Nnamdi. He's never really had this opportunity to hit the free agent market. Because of the kind of player he was, Oakland really didn't give him that option. When we found out that there was an opportunity for us potentially to get him and that he really wanted to be here, we just thought it was a situation that we had to explore.
With an offense that can put crooked numbers up on anybody the Eagles had to add playmaking pieces on the other side and did just that on Friday evening. With the addition of the most feared cornerback in all of football the Birds are poised to make a serious run at the Lombardi trophy in 2011.