Nnamdi Asomugha: Why the Philadelphia Eagles Should Have Passed on Him

Dan Hiergesell@DHiergesellFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2011

Nnamdi Asomugha: Why the Philadelphia Eagles Should Have Passed on Him

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    The Philadelphia Eagles have cashed in on this year's NFL free agency, signing cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to a five-year, $60 million contract on Friday.

    Asomugha is guaranteed $25 million on a deal that would be paying him until his mid-30s.

    While many people have pegged the former Oakland Raiders shut-down corner as one of the best players in the NFL, there are many things that prove the opposite.

    Age, money and on-field effectiveness are just a few reasons why Asomugha could be a bad choice for the Eagles and head coach Andy Reid.

    While the Eagles may have needed more help at different weak spots, like wide receiver or backup running back, they've decided to put all their eggs into one basket.

    It's yet to be seen how good of a signing this is, but we can only speculate as to what the future holds.

    Here are the top reasons why Philadelphia should have passed on Asomugha and his humongous deal.

5. The Money

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    The $60 million should be the only reason why the Philadelphia Eagles should have avoided Nnamdi Asomugha, but apparently the team didn't think so.

    Despite only signing Michael Vick to a one-year franchise tag and amidst a DeSean Jackson holdout, signing Asomugha seems like a heavy price to pay.

    The team didn't necessarily need a shutdown corner this offseason and could have went with someone more low-key than the biggest free agent on the market.

    It seems like Philadelphia might have jumped the gun to protect Asomugha from signing with the Dallas Cowboys.

    This contract is very lucrative and could turn out being a huge mistake when the Eagles can't come up with the dough to sign other important franchise players.

4. Age

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    Nnamdi Asomugha is not young by any means.

    He's entering his ninth NFL season and recently turned 30.

    And it's not like he's a 26-year-old Darrelle Revis who got a big contract with the New York Jets prior to last season or possesses long-term longevity like Champ Bailey. 

    The elite cornerback's age could come into play when the Philadelphia Eagles end up paying him millions of dollars in his mid-30s.

    That type of commitment says a lot about how bad the Eagles wanted Asomugha, but the five-year deal that stole him from a Revis and Jets pairing could end of being a relationship tie that the team regrets.

3. Playmaking Ability

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    Before I get crucified for bringing this up, let me be the first to say Nnamdi Asomugha is a top-notch NFL player.

    He may even be a top-five cornerback over the past five years. But considering his lack of ball-hawking skills and big play potential, he could be considered an overpaid and overrated defensive asset.

    Now I realize that a lot of teams shy away from throwing at Asomugha and his lock-down abilities, but the fact remains that after his eight interceptions in 2006, he's recorded only three picks over a four-year span.

    That includes zero in 2010.

    I'm not saying a cornerback's value should be based on turnovers, because it clearly isn't with this $60 million contract, but can a guy get some productive stats?

    How many picks over the next five years is Asomugha going to have?

    What type of run-stopper can he be considering his age, small frame and history of being an average tackler at best?

    I may be getting ahead of myself, but it seems that Philadelphia might have overpaid for a player who they think brings Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty and DeAngelo Hall type of ball skills.

2. Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

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    My question is, with Asante Samuel and newly-acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie already manning the sidelines, why go out and spend big-time money on a cornerback?

    Don't get me wrong, signing Nnamdi Asomugha is definitely going to make the Philadelphia Eagles' secondary much better in coverage, but did the team really need, with other specific weaknesses, a $60 million corner?

    I think not.

    The Eagles desperately need a wide receiver alongside a DeSean Jackson holdout and mixed expectations for Jeremy Maclin, going forward.

    Going after, say Chad Ochocinco or even Plaxico Burress, would have done the team wonders, but instead they sign Asomugha.

    Over the past two years, Samuel and Rodgers-Cromartie have combined for 25 interceptions, 24 more than Asomugha during his Oakland Raiders' days.

    Before trading Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals for Rodgers-Cromartie and draft picks, going after a top-level cornerback who's worth 10s of millions of dollars would have made sense.

    But right after your team already boasts a legitimate top-10 cornerback tandem?

    It just doesn't seem like the right move.

1. Different Competition

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    This may be the biggest factor in why the Philadelphia Eagles should of stayed away from Nnamdi Asomugha.

    While the 30-year-old corner has produced among the best as far as coverage over the last few seasons in Oakland, the AFC West doesn't quite compare to the NFC East.

    With quarterbacks like Matt Cassel, Tim Tebow and Jason Campbell, Asomugha's dominance in 2010 could be a major hoax.

    The newly-acquired Eagle is going to be covering some top-notch wideouts like Hakeem Nicks, Miles Austin and Santana Moss, while trying to outsmart two of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL in Eli Manning and Tony Romo.

    Now I'm not saying that Asomugha isn't going to have success or even be as dominant as he's been in the past, but as it stands right now, he has entered one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL.

    I realize that isn't a definitive reason not to sign one of the most intriguing free agents in 2011, but it could surely come back to bite Philadelphia where it hurts.

    The wallet and wins column.