In a meeting with cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha Friday morning, Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman made it clear: The Eagles will keep Asomugha if and only if he is willing to restructure his new contract. Otherwise, he’ll be on the chopping block come next week.
The Eagles expensive cornerback is set to earn $15 million this season, with $4 million guaranteed. His recent performance suggests that he’s nowhere worth that type of money; he’s lost confidence with the ball in the air, he’s no longer fast or strong enough to jam and contain bigger, faster receivers, and he simply hasn’t meshed with free-agent-to-be CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or either of the safeties. There are too many times when he gets beat per game for him to be paid as much as any other corner in the league.
Oh yeah, and he’s also one of the worst tacklers in the NFL. The Eagles would be crazy to give a guy who’s production has fallen off so dramatically superstar money for even one more season.
And Nnamdi taking a paycut? Not likely. The man is prideful, a nine-year veteran who has been named to the All-Pro team four times. Taking less money on a 4-12 team would be somewhat disgraceful for a guy who was once the best CB in the league. Now, we all might agree that he should take one given the circumstances, but it won’t happen. Not the paycut the Eagles are asking for.
Chip Kelly’s comments Friday morning at the combine don’t exactly make things better either. When asked about his pricey cornerback, Kelly hesitated and struggled with a response. He eventually spurted out, “I think Nnamdi has the skill set (pause) that can play football.” Not exactly painting a favorable picture for No. 24.
Kelly, a former secondary coach, is obviously looking to remake the secondary. At Oregon, he always had athletic playmakers rather than guys in the mold of Asomugha, so don’t be surprised if he cuts Nnamdi, Nate Allen, and Kurt Coleman while only making a free agency offer to the athletic DRC. This means he’ll have to make at least one or two moves in the secondary; names like Jairus Byrd (who played for Kelly at Oregon) and Dee Milliner (the top CB in this year’s draft) pop right into my head, but after the combine it’ll be easier to see in which direction the Eagles are leaning.