NFL Free Agency Rumors: No Nnamdi Asomugha? Eagles Like Ike Taylor

Jason KarlAnalyst IIIJune 30, 2011

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 27:  Ike Taylor #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers sacks Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens on December 27, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 23-20.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The name most Eagle fans want is Nnamdi Asomugha. He is, of course, the best corner in the league and would fit in perfectly across from fellow star corner Asante Samuel.

Asomugha's man-to-man coverage skills are second to none and his game would compliment the gambler Samuel.

The downside to signing Asomugha though is that he will be 30 years old next year and will probably demand a historic contract for a cornerback.

There will be cheaper alternates to Asomugha and the list includes: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jonathan Joseph, Brent Grimes and Ike Taylor.

A recent report by's Adam Caplan, who cites multiple sources, states that the Eagles "will show strong interest in Taylor once free agency starts."

The 31-year-old Taylor has made it known that he will test free agency and Philadelphia may seem like a fit.

Caplan goes on to say, "And with the Eagles possibly playing more zone and less man coverage in the secondary this season based on the adjustment the defensive line is expected to undergo, Taylor would fit in quite well."



My Take

The Eagles are one of the few teams that exclusively played man-to-man last year, including the Raiders and Jets.

When a strong cover corner like Sheldon Brown was here in Philly, Samuel was allowed to man a zone bubble, essentially allowing him to read the quarterback and react. Samuel though had to play more man-man because of the absence of a legitimate right cornerback.

Caplan, who knows the Eagles as well as any analyst, feels that Jim Washburn's wide-nine technique will impact the philosophy of the secondary becoming more zone oriented.

Washburn's schemes calls for the defensive ends to line outside of the tackles. The goal for the entire defensive line is to get up field and become pass rushers instead of the usual stunts we saw with Sean McDermott as defensive coordinator.

Ike Taylor is getting up their in age, but still performed well for a strong Steelers defense last year.

The 6'2'', 195-pound Taylor recorded 66 tackles and two interceptions last season, displaying his physicality on most plays.

His game complements Samuel very well, allowing Samuel to once again play more zone coverages, which would make Taylor the primary man-to-man cover corner.

Taylor will also be cheaper than a Jonathan Joseph or Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency.

The Eagles will have plenty of decisions to make at cornerback.