Nnamdi Asomugha was asked on Wednesday how important it is to him that he stays in Eagles green beyond this season. The question was tied to his sizable contract, and the reality that changes surely are ahead.
“I think really important. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” said Asomugha.
So you would make decisions potentially coming from that stance? If sacrifices were asked to be made?
“Yeah, I mean all I can say right now is I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” he replied. “I definitely want to be back here.”
And with that, we have our first indicator that Asomugha could be open to restructuring his deal.
The 31-year-old defensive back inked a five-year, $60 million contract prior to the 2011 season. He is scheduled to make $15 million next year, $4 million of which is guaranteed. A paycheck that fat may have made sense when he was billed as one of the very best cover corners in the league, but it is out of whack after two seasons of unmet expectations. It is difficult to envision any team paying him that much.
While Asomugha is under contract, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will be an unrestricted free agent. Keep neither? One? Both? The Eagles are facing some big decisions when it comes to the cornerback position.
Many have wondered whether Asomugha wants to be in Philadelphia. He was under less scrutiny in Oakland, after all, and fully admitted that coming here from the West Coast was quite the adjustment. But Asomugha says he wants to stay put, holding onto the belief that progress is being made both in his game and as a defense overall.
“I think the comfort level has always gotten better and gotten better,” he said. “What we’re doing now has kind of helped everyone’s comfort level, especially mine from what we were doing once the bye week ended. I think we finally jelled over the last two, three weeks on defense.”
We have seen improved play in the secondary since the Eagles moved on from Jim Washburn and his Wide-9 scheme. In six weeks with Bowles as defensive coordinator and Washburn as defensive line coach, the Eagles allowed opponents to complete 76 percent of their passes. In the past two weeks minus Washburn, that number is 44 percent. The opposing quarterbacks (Andy Dalton, Josh Freeman) have not been as potent of late, granted, but that’s a dramatic change regardless.
One thing that some of these veterans will have to come to terms with is that a good deal of the hard work will be undone as a result of a new coaching staff coming in.
“I haven’t really thought about that much, just because you never know what is going to happen. We’ve made some good strides, though, with what we’ve been doing, so that’s always good to build off of,” said Asomugha. “But when it all changes around you’re kind of starting all over.”
As it stands right now, Asomugha sounds like he wants to remain in Philadelphia regardless.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Scratch David Shaw off your wish list. He is staying at Stanford.
Nate Allen‘s demotion is just another hurdle for the 2010 draft class.
Andy Reid explains his reasoning in starting LeSean McCoy Sunday.
Just how in demand is the Eagles’ head coaching job?
Sheil explains why the offseason plans should not center around Nick Foles.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Ian Rappaport of NFL.com says that Michael Vick has eyes for Chip Kelly:
Sources who have spoken to Michael Vick say the veteran quarterback believes he has another four years left in the NFL and wants to be a starter with whatever team signs him in the event he is released by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Those sources also said Vick would not want to join the New York Jets if Mark Sanchez still is the starter, but he would consider signing with the Jets if he were paid more than Sanchez, making it clear that Vick was the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart.
Aside from the Jets, the Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns are mentioned as possibilities.
The sources close to Vick said he might wait to see if Oregon coach Chip Kelly decides to take an NFL coaching job in the offseason, adding that Vick already has imagined himself playing in Kelly’s fast-paced spread offense.
Mike Shanahan told the Philadelphia media that RGIII practiced at “full speed” Wednesday. Barring a setback, it looks like he’ll get the nod on Sunday. Those who watched practice said the rookie “looked smooth.”
Eagles continue to get ready for the Redskins. Marty Mornhinweg and Todd Bowles will address the media.