The Eagles' need for a starting right cornerback has been discussed to death during the offseason, especially after the team chose not to address that need during the first two rounds of the 2011 NFL draft.
Now, the only hope for the Eagles to acquire a Week 1 starter lies in free agency or the trading block. On Thursday, I mentioned that that either Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or Greg Toler could be available if the Eagles dealt Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals.
However, the most talented among the group is undeniably Nnamdi Asomugha, and the Eagles would do well to snap him up quickly once the free agent market opens.
As a legitimate Super Bowl contender, the Eagles would likely be high on Asomugha's wish list, but they will still have to contend with other teams willing to shell out the big bucks, such as their division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys are another team that has been linked heavily to Asomugha during the offseason. Earlier this month, the Dallas Morning News speculated that the Cowboys' biggest motivation to sign the cornerback could be the fear that he will land in Philadelphia.
The feeling is likely reciprocated on Andy Reid's side as well. Even if the Eagles must break the bank to acquire a big-name defensive player, it's better than letting him fall into enemy hands.
As discussed in my previous article, one red flag on Asomugha is his age. The former Raider will turn 30 this summer, and the youth-powered Eagles have been notorious lately for jettisoning veterans around that age.
However, one other trend that the Eagles have shown over the past several seasons is their ability to prepare for the future. Back when cornerbacks Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor made names for themselves on the field, the Eagles already had future starters Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown waiting in the wings.
If the Eagles were to pair Asomugha with fellow 30-year-old Asante Samuel, they would again have two potential successors waiting on the bench: Trevard Lindley and Curtis Marsh.
The acquisition of these two certainly wasn't an accident. The Eagles spent their 2009 fourth-round pick and their 2010 third-round pick on two promising young cornerbacks, who have a good chance of stepping into the spotlight one day.
If the team signed Asomugha this year, they would be able to continue their philosophy of, "win now, but keep an eye on the future."
Acquiring Asomugha would be the best possible scenario for the Eagles, and give them the kind of boost that would make them the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl in the eyes of many.
Regardless, Eagles are sure to be aggressive in pursuit of top talent once the free agent market opens. As Andy Reid stated in a recent interview with PhiladelphiaEagles.com,
"We've got the plan together and it's a good, aggressive plan. When they say go, we're ready to go. It's a matter of that time coming forward. We'll attack what we feel is important. ... We've got a pretty well-thought-out plan. It doesn't really matter what the time is."
So, for all of the red flags regarding salary size and age, Nnamdi Asomugha might just end up being the best option for Philadelphia's new starting right cornerback.
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