Nothing personal against the eccentric cornerback; the Eagles are not negotiating with any players at the moment, choosing instead to focus their energies on the season at hand. They have tried to stick to the policy of no in-season contract negotiations for the past few years. With a new coaching staff likely coming in, there’s even less reason to go away from that policy now.
The Eagles have some serious decisions to make when it comes to the corner position. DRC is poised to become a free agent at the end of the season. Nnamdi Asomugha is scheduled to make a base salary of $15 million next year (and another $12 million for both the 2014 and 2015 seasons). Only $4 million of next year’s salary is guaranteed, meaning the team could walk away if they are OK with swallowing that amount.
Asomugha has failed to live up to the billing in his 1 1/2 seasons with the Eagles. The 31-year-old has one interception through nine games in 2012. Quarterbacks have a rating of 109.5 when throwing in his direction, per Pro Football Focus.
The quarterback rating against Rodgers-Cromartie, in comparison, is 62.4. That said, his play has dropped off in recent weeks. He has not had an interception since September. Teams are taking advantage of his below-average tackling ability by routinely running to his side.
While both Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie have their imperfections, they are better than the alternatives on the roster right now. Leaving one of the outside spots in the hands of Brandon Hughes or Curtis Marsh would be a big risk. Given how highly the Eagles value the cornerback position, it’s unlikely they will leave the cupboard bare. Whether it be through free agency, the draft or retaining their own, they will try to stay stocked.
Rodgers-Cromartie’s price tag needs to be taken into consideration. His cousin, Antonio, received a four-year, $32-million deal in 2011 from the Jets. He was right around Dominique’s current age (26) at the time. The Giants’ Antrel Rolle inked a five-year, $37 million deal in 2010. Perhaps the former Pro Bowler could end up in that ballpark.
The Eagles are projected to be well over the cap for next season, though they have a sizeable amount of cap money that they can carry over from the current campaign.
The safest bet is that rookie Brandon Boykin will be part of the cornerback equation next year. From there, it’s much cloudier. Will both Asomugha and DRC be back? If it’s just one or the other, who will it be?
With all contract talks expected to be on hold until the offseason, the answers won’t come for weeks.
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