The Philadelphia Eagles have swooped in and signed former Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, in perhaps the most under-the-radar pursuit of a player we’ve ever seen.
The deal is for five years and worth $60 million, with $25 million guaranteed. Given early reports Asomugha could cost around $18 million per season, this is an absolute bargain.
Before free agency kicked off, Asomugha to Philly was a hot rumor, especially amongst Eagles fans. But once Kevin Kolb got traded to the Arizona Cardinals for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, everyone figured the idea of Asomugha becoming an Eagle was dead.
And by “everyone,” I mean everyone.
No one was talking about this move. Everyone, including the guys usually on the inside of this stuff — Adam Schefter, Jay Glazer, Chris Mortensen, etc. — figured it was down to the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets, but in a fashion that would make Ruben Amaro, Jr. stop dead in his tracks, the Eagles managed to steal Asomugha right from under the nose of the rest of the league.
This deal reminds me a lot of the Phillies deal to snag Cliff Lee, with no one knowing it was coming until the very last minute.
The ripple effect of this could be huge.
Outside of a backup running back, it could very well mean the Eagles are done in free agency. The seem happy with the linebackers they have and, with the corners they currently have, I’m starting understand why. I would still like to see the team go out and grab a veteran linebacker just to top off what could be an incredible defense, but if this is the last move they make, who could complain?
Of course, there is the chance now that Asante Samuel could be brought up in trade talks. The Eagles now have three very good corners, and could consider dangling Samuel as trade bait for a linebacker and a draft pick.
But if they’re going to trade Samuel, it will take a haul even greater than they got for Kolb and let’s not forget everyone assumed Lito Sheppard would be out the door when the Eagles initially signed Samuel with Sheldon Brown also on the roster.
That didn’t happen, and it wouldn’t be surprising if DRC just became a backup — which is an incredible thought in itself.
Now pardon me while I go throw up as I’m extremely dizzy from my head spinning.
In other news…
The Eagles also announced the signing of tight end Donald Lee and wide receiver/kick returner Johnnie Lee Higgins to one-year deals.