It’s about time.
The news from ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday morning was music to the ears of Philadelphia Eagles fans:
“@AdamSchefter: When two sides meet this am, Eagles will ask CB Nnamdi Asomugha to restructure contract or they will release him. Asomugha guaranteed $4mil.”
Fairly or unfairly, Asomugha has become the poster child for the many failures on both sides of the ball that plagued the Birds during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. His 5-year, $60 million contract, which seemed like a good move when forged in the summer of 2011 for the hottest free agent on the market, now leaves us scratching our heads.
I was willing to give him the benefit in the 2011 season. New team, a defensive coordinator new to the team and no offseason. Asomugha would find his groove in 2012.
Until he didn’t. His star had fallen so far that quarterbacks were deliberately targeting him, and for good reason. Very often he missed his coverage, looking at teammates in confusion as if someone else should have had that guy.
By the middle of the 2012 season, it was painfully clear that there were no more excuses. We were duped by Nnamdi.
So now, while looking at the next faces of the NFL in Indianapolis at the Combine, the Eagles have decided that the time is right to figure out what to do about the Asomugha situation. Nnamdi’s agent, Ben Dogra, met with the Eagles Friday morning but there has been no word from either side since.
On Thursday, head coach Chip Kelly was asked what he thought about Asomugha. His response was stunningly underwhelming.
“I think that Nnamdi has a skill set. That can play football.”
Erm…wow. Kelly was effusive with his praise, no?
Unfortunately, whether Asomugha stays with the team or goes elsewhere, Philadelphia will owe him $4 million (his base salary for 2013 under his current deal is $15 million). And then there is the other money already down the drain due to the deal that seemed to be a slam dunk but turned out to be the most embarrassing of air balls.
Asomugha has said that Philadelphia is where he wants his be, but is it time to admit that his stay here has been an utter and complete failure and allow him to move on? It may not be that simple, and the Pro Bowl corner’s market value will take a substantial hit from the fact that was part of a defense that allowed a franchise-worst 33 passing touchdowns in 2012. Everyone in the league saw the same mistakes time and time again that we witnessed.
Will the Eagles let Nnamdi walk and try their luck at some of the young talent they are witnessing up close at the Combine this weekend? We’ll all be watching closely to see if Philadelphia is ready to turn the chapter on the man who was a shutdown corner in Oakland but came to Philly and…wasn’t.