Ball Will Likely Be In Asomugha’s Court

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi AsomughaHowie Roseman will meet with Nnamdi Asomugha’s agent, Ben Dogra, this morning, according to multiple reports.

The reality here is that the ball will likely be in Asomugha’s court. The original contract he signed in the summer of 2011 calls for him to be paid more than $15 million in 2013. Anyone who watched his performance last season knows there’s no way the Eagles are paying that number.

But the key here is that the Eagles owe Asomugha $4 million if they cut him.

In other words, Asomugha will have to weigh two options from a financial perspective.

1. Whatever the Eagles offer him over $4 million in a newly re-structured deal.
2. What he thinks he could potentially get from a new team on the open market.

In other words, Asomugha can pocket the $4 million AND make whatever a new team offers.

Chip Kelly and Roseman know what everyone else knows: That the soon-to-be 32-year-old cornerback was a huge disappointment last season. He gave up too many big plays, failed to make plays when the ball was in the air and was a poor tackler. Whatever skills he had in Oakland are not going to suddenly return at this point in his career.

So, why would the Eagles even consider re-structuring his deal? Again, they’re on the hook for $4 million regardless. The Eagles likely will have to fill the other cornerback spot unless Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie unexpectedly returns.

If Asomugha agrees to a major pay cut, the Eagles could choose to ride with him in 2013, knowing that finding a pair of starting corners in free agency and the draft could be difficult.

Then again, the team is not in “win-now” mode and might just decide it’s time to cut ties.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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  • JofreyRice

    I’m relying on his ball skills here–when the ball’s in his court, he’ll probably be turned around in the other direction and it will bounce right by. Don’t throw good money after bad, let him go. Asomugha, at this point in his career, isn’t fit for a team with a “win-ever” philosophy, let alone “win-now”.

    • ohitsdom

      He’ll just point at Coleman, so it’ll be Kurt’s contract that ends up getting restructured.

      • DutchEagle

        You guys both nailed it haha!

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    I wouldn’t bring Asomugha back even if took vet’s minimum. I’d take the 4 mil hit.

    • aub32

      Easy to say when it’s not your money.

      • Mike R

        The $4 million is a sunk cost. Why would Lurie want to throw good money after bad. The smartest move is to cut losses and move on.

  • Daniel

    I’m pretty surprised we’re discussing keeping Nnamdi and letting DRC walk.

    Keep the guy over 30 and let the young guy go? Doesn’t make sense when we need to rework the entire secondary.

    • Tom W

      First, Young kid is going to want (and get undeservedly) a long term deal from someone. He is a free agent. Eagles aren’t letting him go. It would cost 10 mil to franchise him. He certainly doesn’t deserve that type of money. He will sign where he gets the best deal. Some dopey GM will give him a multiple year deal even though he was a disappointment for two teams already. Second, There is this thing called the salary cap that the team must watch. We still owe Nmadi money – thus one must at least make an effort to see if we can restructure his deal downward mightily to avoid paying him $4mill additionally for nothing (and $4 mil dead space hit on the cap). If NA doesn’t agree, we will cut him. No point in not at least having the conversation w NA like we did with Vick. Personally, I would be done with both of them but a conversation or two doesnt hurt.

      • GGeagle

        What are you talking about? Who is going to commit a long term big money contract after the crap he put on tape this past two years. IF DRC wants a long term deal, he won’t earn big money, of course he won’t take that..he will do what Landry did last year, sign a 1 year deal that says he can’t be franchised, and try to get his value up this year so that next year there will be a big money deal available to him. it will only take a 1 yr commitment to keep DRC, He is too talented to not look at for 1 more year…but if you are going to ask him to work with Kurt Colemn again, than you might as well not even bring DRC back. if you are actually gonna trot out two competAnt safeties next year, than yeah I would like to see what DRC can do for 1 more year

        • aub32

          Wrong. Landry had to prove he can still play after injuries. DRC is young and an amazing athlete. His problems had nothing to do with whether he can physically play. His agent will spin it by pointing out how he was asked to play the slot in 2011 and the clear coaching debacle that was 2012. Someone will likely pay him big money thinking that they could be the guy to get the best of his abilities.

          • GGeagle

            I would bet ANYTHING that DRC signs a 1 year deal! Do you realize how long ago 2009 was? That was when DRC was a probowler. He has put so much crap on Film this past year, that he will not get a long term deal, and if someone does offer it to him, it will be a lowball offer that he wont take, or a loaded yr 1 contract like Bell signed that they can get out of the net year. Im sure DRC believes in himself, and wont sign a lowball longterm deal. He is at the age where the next long term deal he signs will be his best chance at getting paid..I can assure you that he will sign a 1yr deal, to get his value up

    • http://twitter.com/BrianHuff215 Brian Huff

      DRC= Doesnt Really Care….However, maybe the new staff can knock some sense into him.

  • laeagle

    Sheil, are you sure that they owe him that $4 mil, or is that just accelerated cap hit from his signing bonus? If it’s the latter, that’s not money they owe him. He was already paid the signing bonus. That $4 mil would then be the amount applied against the cap, based on the remainder of his signing bonus being paid out. Not sure, just checking. How could they be on the hook for $4 mil on a non-guaranteed contract with signing bonuses, which is pretty much standard these days? Does he have some sort of weird guaranteed money contract?

    • Roasty

      I’m not positive, but I remember hearing that when the birds went on their signing spree before 2011, that Asomugha was the only one of those big name free agents that had any type of gauranteed money past the first year of their contract. I believe they are actually on the hook with money they haven’t shelled out yet.

      • laeagle

        Thanks, that’s what I’m realizing the more I read about it. Oh well.

    • knighn

      Sadly, Nnamdi is guaranteed 4 million this year. His total salary will be over $15 million if he makes it to the regular season.

      If I’m Howie, I say something along the lines of, “Nnamdi, you were absolutely terrible the last two years, and everyone in the NFL knows it. If we pay you 4 million to leave the team, you’ll probably never play football again. If we pay you 4.25 million to stay on the team, you’ll have the chance to redeem yourself and earn more money in the future. Granted, this isn’t a guarantee that you’ll start… just that you’ll have a chance to compete.”

      That’s just what I’d say, but that’s just the way I roll!

      • Justin

        Ideally, they’d restructure him to a 1 year “prove it” deal. Getting him to agree to such a thing is the hard part.

      • PaoliBulldog

        Asomugha can collect the $4MM the Eagles owe him in 2013 AND sign a veteran’s minimum contract in the amount of $825,000 (or higher, if the “greater fool” theory still applies to the NFL), so unless the Eagles are stupid enough to give him more than $4,825,000, he’ll be better off leaving.

        • aub32

          What your missing is they still have to replace him, and they’re not getting anybody for 825,000. It’s cheaper to guarantee Nnamdi 5.5 million than cut him and sign some other FA who you will have to undoubtedly overpay since you have nothing on the roster.

          • D3Keith

            I agree with you for the most part, and I think they should at least make a run at NA. But there is another option — start Marsh, Hughes and Boykin.

            That would leave the Eagles with terrible depth, although the position will likely be addressed in the draft, but from a cost-replacement standpoint, they don’t necessarily have to spend a lot to get a player to take NA’s place.

            I agree though that they might as well offer NA a restructuring and let him play as a lame-duck for a year. As bad as he’s been, it doesn’t mean he can’t contribute. It’d just be for pride though. Not only is he not playing for another major contract, but he never spent any of his original money, or so the he-still-drives-a-97-Toyota stories go. So I don’t think money is the motivator for him (although he’s not stupid; he’s not going to take a bad deal). It’s just if he wants his last taste of the NFL to be 4-12.

            Personally I could see the logic for letting them both walk (NA and DRC) or bringing them both back at reduced prices. I’m indifferent, but if I had to choose, I would roll with the guys we have — Hughes, Marsh, Lindley, Boykin — and if they get exposed, so be it. This year is not about having a great record so much as it is developing a Chip Kelly type of attitude.

            Still, if the Eagles could get something for their 4 milly, it’s hard to be mad at that, so long as he doesn’t completely undermine Billy Davis the way he apparently did the previous DCs. He seemed like such a character guy til the stories started leaking out.

  • morgan c

    He’s just not good anymore. I don’t want to hear anymore excuses about being used incorrectly, playing with bad safeties, having one good game against Detroit… the dude is straight bad. Cut him.
    And to the people that think he could be moved to safety… I mean, really? How can a corner who has already demonstrated he has no recovery speed and is a terrible tackler be an effective safety?

  • ACViking

    Sheil:

    Why do you say the Eagles are not in a “Win Now” mode?

    The front office re-signed Vick.

    To what end . . . if not to win now?

    Former Eagles scout Ryan Grigson turned the Colts (for whatever reason) from a disaster to a playoff team.

    Do you think that’s been lost on Lurie and Roseman? Or Kelly?

    I think you’re mistaken — unless you have reliable sources inside NovaCare *sincerely* saying otherwise — that the Eagles are not trying to win this year.

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      I agree. They are definitely trying to win this year. Why else even think about keeping Vick? They could have rolled with Foles – cut Vick – signed Dixon and maybe draft a young QB if it was just about re-building.

    • aub32

      I couldn’t have said it any better. I don’t know why so many people think that Lurie, Howie, and Kelly are okay with just conceding the 2013 season.

    • ICDogg

      I guess it depends on what you mean by “win now” mode. They are interested in winning now. They may be more interested, however, in what they can do with an idea of building a program that won’t be completely assembled this year.

      I might argue that Vick was re-signed as a stop-gap since they believe he is capable of running the type of offense that Kelly has in mind. If they were to use Foles instead, they would have to change the offense up and that might set the rest of the offensive players behind at such time that they have to readjust when their QB-of-the-future, whoever that may be, is ready to take over.

    • D3Keith

      See I think it’s both.

      They are trying to compete from jump. The roster has enough talent to win right away. They at least have to win enough to earn Chip some credibility with the players, among free agents, etc. He can’t fall flat on his face.

      And I think you should never concede a Super Bowl chance. If you can get in at 9-7, and play well when there — well, we all know that truism.

      But the truth is, the most important goal of this first season is installing all of Chip Kelly’s offense, Billy Davis’s defense and revamping the whole way of thinking inside NovaCare. They want to win from here out, and they have talked a lot about instilling a winning attitude and being incredibly detailed in everything they do. They don’t sound like the type that tolerates losing, but they also don’t seem like the type that loses sight of the big picture.

      I’ve been outspoken about not being intentionally bad next season to get in the quarterback chase. That’s a crapshoot, and it undermines everything else — someone else put it better than me, but you can’t just coach to say “we’ll turn it on in 2014!” Winning starts with doing the little things well.

      The important thing next year is to do those things well. The record is secondary to that, but they should be trying to win at every turn. You only get one chance to press reset and gut your roster and start fresh, so they shouldn’t be making bad long-term decisions at the expense of trying to win right away, but if they can do everything with both the present and the future in mind, then I say go for it.

  • borntosuffer

    He had some good moments covering tight ends. Can he play inside and move Boykin outside? I understand Boykin doesn’t have the height desired for a corner. But, Marsh and the Kid from Kentucky both have decent size and couldn’t get on the field. Also, what’s a marginal starter/back up corner worth? I am not sold that the Eagles should bring him back. But, decent corners are tough to find.

    • bsn

      I like the idea of using him to cover tight ends. That’s actually something we’ve become better at in the last 2 years.

      • aub32

        He could also be used against bigger WRs i.e. Megatron, Green or Marshall. While I agree he is no longer a top corner in this league, he can be a role player as long as the coaches are aware not to repeatedly match him up against speed guys.

        • GoBirds1

          Role player??? The guy gave up on How many plays this year he is a bum. Technically, NA was one dimensional and otherwise not very good athletic or fast. Time to turn the page and stop postponing the growing pains.

          • 1972

            how can u make a liability at the position a role player?when qb’s have tothe top qbr against u in the league, ur officially a back up or gone. I prefer the latter.Fans of certain players have to just learn to give it up

  • aub32

    I’ve said time and again Nnamdi would have the option of being restructured. Fans have to understand the business side. You don’t just throw away 4 million knowing that you’re going to need two starting CBs. Nnamdi is already owed 4 million. Therefore if you guarantee him another million or so and add some incentive you come out better financially than overpaying some other guy in FA on what will have to be a multi year deal.

    • ICDogg

      Also, it does not preclude you from investing draft picks in the position, nor from playing them if they are ready.

  • Oshow

    I was so excited to get Namdi although I thought they resigned themselves to take Johnathan Joseph the 2nd best option at CB who made the Pro Bowl twice for Houston after he slipped to them.

    What a disappointment he is and his partner DRC just quit. I’d save the money and the headache and get over the bad memories. These 2 guys are a lasting monument to Andy’s last years here.

    Steve

  • Rick H

    Correct JofreyRice! Asomugha hasn’t touched a BALL since he came to Philadelphia. He needs to have someone show him a picture of what a football looks like.

    • bsn

      I’d rather my corners forget what a football looks like. It means they’re doing their job correctly.

  • Mr. Magee

    Agree with the sentiment of others here – say goodbye and don’t let the door hit you in the &@$ on the way out.

    While I acknowledge the eagles have to field a team this year, it’s still a little depressing that the two biggest emblems of their recent incompetence – Asomugha and Vick (who I think is a great competitor but a lousy QB) – are being considered for future roles with the team.

    In the case of Asomugha, his release can be justified purely on the basis of attitude and team chemistry. In short, he seems to represent all that was wrong with the eagles the last two years – no heart.

  • http://twitter.com/ScottJ610 Scott J

    Why bother renegotiating, he sucks and should be cut. I’d rather draft a kid and start him.

    • ICDogg

      I think a case can be made for not trying to start too many inexperienced players at once when trying to build a franchise.

      • 1972

        what good is experience if it gives up touchdowns in huge spots and refuses to make tackles?Not to mention that he has no comradery with his teammates. they said the guy ate his lunch in his car instead of the team cafeteria.
        that type of attitude can be forgiven if ur good,not if ur in a cover 3 see a man break free and decide not to make a play.He’s currently my most hated eagle.

        • ICDogg

          That’s a legitimate argument. I have no particular interest in keeping Asomugha, but I also have no problem with Kelly kicking the tires on him and seeing if he is of any use in the new scheme.

          It’s kind of a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t problem. Replacing so many secondary guys at once is a tough thing to do, and I don’t think they want to attempt that. I doubt that they will renew DRC, and the safeties are no good either.

          • D3Keith

            Luckily I think front-office people — the people who have to live with the consequences of the decisions rather than just blurt empty words — think a lot like you do. As much as we all want it to be, circumstances dictate that it might not be an instant rebuild.

            Switching the defense created an additional need or two. Then they could afford to replace the entire secondary. And considering DRC may walk — they already didn’t spend 10.7 million by not franchising him, and they are on the hook for 4m of NA anyway, you might as well try to get something for that 4m.

            But the big question is can he be a “fit” with what Chip is trying to establish. Can he be a character guy, a leader? Is he hungry — he’s never had a winning season. He thought he was signing with a Super Bowl contender.

            Does he even have a career option if he walks? Would someone that’s set at safety and has one corner pay him? Or is he more or less done with football?

            That’s stuff we as fans can’t evaluate. It’s easy to say let him walk, and if it were a clean break like with DRC, then it would be easy. But the $4m guarantee really forces the Eagles to think about whether he’d do more harm than good by being on the roster.

          • 1972

            its not our job to worry about his life after philadelphia. he pretty much stole money his first two years here. if he’s going to steal anymore let it be on the bench , on another team or out of the league.If he cant cover what good is his leadership, experience ect?Its about his skills , which he doesnt have anymore

          • D3Keith

            Of course it’s not the Eagles’ job to worry about what he does after he’s gone, but understanding his options would help you and I figure out whether or not he’d come back for a reduced price, since the Eagles are apparently interested.

            I wouldn’t be terribly upset to see him go, but same time, they’re on the hook for $4m, and that’s one less spot they’d be forced to address as they rebuild this season, though they’d definitely have to have a future plan in place.

            If it’s to the point where he’s no good at all on the field and no good in the locker room then he can walk, but it’s unlikely it’s that black and white.

  • http://twitter.com/BrianHuff215 Brian Huff

    What I think we’re dealing with is Roseman trying to save face. Nhamdi was average at best, and I think most people would agree with that. You mean to tell me that you cannot find an average/above average corner with some size either through free agency or the draft? Roseman doesnt want to admit he made a bad move by releasing him, instead, he’s flexing his ‘muscles’ by offering an ultimatum. There are younger options available for the amount they’ll have to pay Nhamdi.

    • aub32

      Even if they go with those younger options, they’ll still have to pay Nnamdi. Here’s the scenario. Would you rather have Nnamdi for 6 million for one year or sign some mediocre young guy to a multi year deal. Yes Nnamdi would be gone, but you’re still spending the same amount of money and now you have some mediocre space waster going forward. It’s not about saving face. It’s smart business.

      • GoBirds1

        You are not good at business. Why pay him the incremental $2 million. I promise you they can find someone equally as bad as NA for $2 million. Heck the back ups can play that bad and matbe on develops into something. Him, Jenkins, Vick they will all be gone before the start of the season. None of these guys know how to lead, time to move on…

        • BrickSquadMonopoly

          Vick dont know how to lead? True.

  • Chapat

    Just release him! We don’t need to keep all the losers from last years team.

  • Rick H

    Someone in here stated that they would rather a cornerback forget what a football looks like bc that means he is doing his job correctly??? That statement is beyond stupid… IN THE NFL PLAYING THE BALL IN THE AIR IS CRITICAL. I am stunned a football fan would be that naive. More and more Qb’s are throwing back shoulder passes/ jump ball passes… that remark is ibncomprehensible!