2011 NFL Free Agency: Nnamdi Asomugha Pros and Cons
The NFL's ultimate CB is hitting the free agent market. Nnamdi Asomugha is the best cornerback in the league.
Nnamdi Asomugha is the true definition of a shutdown corner and would do wonders for an awful Eagles defense.
The Eagles have a lot of money to play with and President Joe Banner even said, "There may be opportunities to get some great players that can make a difference at large salaries."
Is this a hint to the Eagles future?
Nevertheless, with signing any player, there are downsides.
So here are the pros and cons of signing Asomugha:
4. Pro: Gives Eagles The Best CB Tandem in The League
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The signing of Nnamdi Asomugha would give the Eagles a scary tandem at CB.
Do you throw at the best shutdown corner in the league? Or do you throw at the best play-making cornerback in the league in Samuel.
Asomugha would immediately take the pass defense to the next level.
4. Con: Signing Would Accentuate Asante Samuel's Flaws
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Asante Samuel had one of the best seasons of his career last season, but he is a gambler who can be beat.
Teams would also run at Samuel, who is a below-average tackler at the cornerback position. He is not the guy you want to rely on to make a one-on-one tackle in the open field.
Though Samuel is extremely smart at reading quarterbacks, he can be fooled by double moves and play action. Teams would target Samuel on many occasions, so he would have to be ready not to be fooled by those types of plays.
3. Pro: Eliminates One Side Of The Field
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Nnamdi Asomugha not only would eliminate one side of the field on pass plays, but on run plays as well.
Teams would run to the opposite side of Asomugha because of his great run-supporting skills.
At 6-2, 210, Asomugha can lay the wood and hit like a linebacker or safety.
Opposing quarterbacks would have to make bad decisions with the ball, trying to fit the ball in tight windows and double coverage because one side of the field would be eliminated.
3. Con: Asomugha Will Be 30 Years Old Next Season
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The Eagles do not like giving out contracts to players that hit the age of 30.
However, Asomugha is an exception. When you have the chance to get the best player at a specific position, you must pounce on the opportunity. The Eagles could have an unheard-of tandem in Asomugha and Samuel, so giving a huge contract to Asomugha would be necessary.
Though Asomugha may show decline, he still has a lot of football left in him.
2. Pro: Allows For More Asante Samuel Interceptions
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Asante Samuel had seven interceptions in just 11 games last season with Dmitri Patterson starting opposite him.
Teams would target Samuel more, but Samuel is the smartest corner in the league. Unlike the Eagles coaching staff, Samuel knows how to adjust and will be able to read the quarterback's mind, to get into the spot to make an interception.
Samuel would intercept many balls thrown his way with Asomugha shutting down the other side of the field.
2. Con: 2011 NFL Draft and Free Agency Deep With Corners
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Though signing Asomugha would give the Eagles a great tandem, there will be cheaper players hitting the market and in the draft.
The Eagles may feel they do not need a player of Asomugha's caliber, but can still get a solid cover corner.
In the draft, there are solid guys: Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara, Brandon Harris, and Jimmy Smith.
In free agency, other than Asomugha, there are solid corners as well: Champ Bailey, Jonathan Joseph, Brent Grimes, and Antonio Cromartie.
Will the Eagles target one of those players instead of throwing all the money towards Asomugha?
1. Pro: Best Coverage Corner in The League
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Nnamdi Asomugha was only targeted 29 times in 14 games last season, an astoundingly low number.
Teams know the capabilities of Asomugha and are smart not to test him because most of the time the ball would not be completed.
Asomugha has elite speed and size and can stick with any receiver in the league.
The Eagles employ man-to-man coverage, and Asomugha is the best in the league.
He can press and be physical at the line, but fits what the Eagles do on defense, opposite of Asante Samuel, who plays off the receiver.
1. Con: Gives The Eagles Two of The Highest Paid Players at Cornerback
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Though signing Asomugha would have a major impact on the defense, there is no denying the fact the Eagles would have to pay high figures for two players at cornerback.
Asomugha will want to be the highest paid cornerback in the league, and Samuel is scheduled to make about $9 million next season.
Championships are usually won on both sides of the line, so should the Eagles commit so much money to a player at cornerback when there could be cheaper alternatives?
Both Samuel and Asomugha would be 30 entering next season.
Final Decision: Pros Outweigh The Cons
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The pros heavily outweigh the cons, and I think the Eagles would be smart in giving Nnamdi Asomugha a huge contract.
His impact could make this team into legitimate Super Bowl contenders.