NFL Rumors: Nnamdi Asomugha, Victor Butler and Latest Free-Agency Buzz

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Nnamdi Asomugha #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates his interception with teammates Kurt Coleman #42 and Brian Rolle #59 during a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Nnamdi Asomugha is reportedly "torn" between signing with the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints in 2013—just one of the rumors flying around the NFL as free agency continues to play out.

After the big rush by some teams to land big-name players in the first handful of days, free agency has slowed down to a crawl. Most teams don't have much cap space to play with, and front offices are engaged in a tricky dance with agents as both sides try to get the best deal.

There are still plenty of good players available, though, and we'll take a look at the latest buzz surrounding three of the top names still on the board.


Nnamdi Asomugha Could Be A Starter In San Francisco

Asomugha has been talking with the 49ers and Saints for the past week or so, trying to decide which team would be the best fit for him in 2013. On Monday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the cornerback was "torn" between the two teams:

Then, on Tuesday, CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported Asomugha would compete against Carlos Rogers should he sign with the 49ers:

Rogers was the team's No. 1 cornerback the past two seasons. He didn't play as well in 2012 as he did in his first season with the team, but there's no doubt Rogers is still an excellent player. 

That said, the 49ers like to run press-man coverage on the outside a lot of the time—a technique that Asomugha owns. The Eagles played a soft zone most of the time—which is not Asomugha's forte—and he struggled as a result.

If the former Oakland Raiders star can rediscover his inner shutdown corner, he could overtake Rogers in the starting lineup.


The Eagles Might Land A Bargain Free Agent in Victor Butler

Butler is an intriguing pass-rusher who may be playing for Chip Kelly and the Eagles next season.

On Monday, Butler left Cleveland to head for Philly, per the Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot:

Then on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McClane reported that Butler was taking a physical with the Eagles:

McClane later reported that Butler left his physical without a contract, but that the two sides were interested in making a deal:

Butler never emerged as a consistent pass-rusher during his four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, but he was stuck behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. Even in limited duty, he racked up 11 sacks and five forced fumbles.

The Eagles already paid Connor Barwin to come over and rush the passer, and the team has Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham and Trent Cole on the roster. 

That said, 3-4 teams can never have enough pass-rushers. Furthermore, Cole and Graham both have stiff hips, which could be trouble for them as outside linebackers. 

Landing Butler would be a savvy move to continue adding pieces to the team's defense. 


Darrius Heyward-Bey Would Be A Smart Pickup for the Detroit Lions

Heyward-Bey was recently released by the Oakland Raiders.

The Indianapolis Colts hosted the receiver (h/t ESPN's Adam Schefter), but he left Indy without a deal. 

Early Tuesday morning, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported, "In need of a wide receiver who can stretch the field opposite Calvin Johnson, the Detroit Lions have a visit scheduled with Darrius Heyward-Bey on Wednesday."

The former No. 7 overall pick never produced on the field in the way the Raiders had hoped when they drafted him, but there's no doubt he still has the potential to be great.

He caught 64 passes for 975 yards and four touchdowns in 2011, and though his receptions and yards diminished in 2012, he still hauled in five touchdowns. 

Heyward-Bey's speed makes him an intriguing pickup for the Lions. With him stretching the field on one side and Calvin Johnson commanding double teams on every single play, the middle of the field would be wide open for exploitation.

Better still, Heyward-Bey won't be expensive to sign, as he has a lot to prove before he'll land another big contract.


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