NFL Free Agency 2011: Jonathan Joseph a Better Buy for Eagles Than Asomugha
While Jonathan Joseph seems interested in returning to the Bengals in 2011, whoever strikes out in the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes will be pursuing him, so he will still have a number of options to be paid.
Joseph is one of the best and most underrated corners in the league, as his playmaking skills go largely unnoticed.
I am not denying that Asomugha is the better player, because he clearly is the best cornerback in the league, but in terms of an investment, Joseph is the better buy.
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When the 2011 NFL season begins, Asomugha will be 30 years old while Joseph will be three years younger at the prime age of 27.
Age may seem a factor for Andy Reid, who almost always bases his decisions on how old the player is.
The Eagles rarely sign free agents who are 30 because they believe the player is at the downside of his career.
Entering the Prime of His Career
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Being only 27, Joseph will be entering the prime of his career, where he will only improve his already steady game.
Joseph has elite speed and great coverage and ball skills. He can press and play up at the receiver, but has enough recovery speed not to get beat.
He is a fluid athlete and can play the run better than most corners.
Joseph already has 14 interceptions in 67 games played.
Asomugha will decline slightly from his great play and Joseph should start to exemplify his great talents to the NFL.
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Signing Asomugha will cost the Eagles a ton of money; he is expected to want a $15 million per year contract.
This may prevent the Eagles from signing other top free agents.
Having two great corners will help the defense considerably, but without a consistent pass rush, the defense will still give up some. The Eagles need more than a corner in free agency.
A top defensive end and another linebacker are extremely important issues to address in free agency.
Joseph will probably sign for around $8 million per year, a considerable difference from Asomugha's expected contract.
Gives the Eagles Flexibilty
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Michael Vick needs a new contract and DeSean Jackson wants a new contract.
Ultimately, this offseason, both will probably get what they want money-wise with their new contracts.
The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the smartest organizations in all of football and they think ahead and plan accordingly.
Could the Eagles sign Asomugha to the biggest contract for a corner and re-sign Vick and Jackson to top quarterback and receiver money? Yes, they could. Will they? Eh.
The Eagles may see Joseph as the better investment for a franchise needing to sign other players and to re-sign their own.