[Note by JasonB, 05/08/11 6:26 PM EDT ] Promoted from fanposts. An interesting counterpoint on the Asomugha debate
Before you rip me apart for saying we shouldn't go after the best cover corner in the league and team up two of the 3 best corners in the game together, let me give you two words- WASHINGTON REDSKINS. BOOM! My explanation of why I despise building a team up through free agency....
Every single year a small but loud minority of Eagles fans demand that we sign some big free agent and every single year we pass on said free agent and every single year for the most part, we are competitive in the NFC. There never is a huge number of impact free agents each offseason so the supply is low but the demand is always high. This is a "what have you done for me lately" league, you have to win now. Owners and fans alike don't want to wait on the young homegrown players to develop, they want guys who can help the team win now. Those players that are acquired through free agency are always overpaid and usually disappoint, if not in the first year they will disappoint in the second or third year.
Let's take a look at our friends from DC. In 2000, they signed Jeff George to a 4 year, 18 million dollar deal in which he played in a grand total or 8 games, and about half of those was mop up duty in blow outs. In 2002 they signed my favoirte linebacker of all time, Jeremiah Trotter to a 5 year 35 million dollar deal in which he only lasted 2 years. In 1998, they signed Dana Stubbelfield to a 56+ million dollar deal after he won Defensive Player of the Year in 1997, he had a whopping 7 sacks in 3 seasons before being let go. In 2000, the Skins signed Deion Past his Prime Sanders to a 7 year 56 million dollar deal where he never lived up to his hype and was an unwilling tackler. I didn't have to mention the Haynesworth deal to show how bad free agency has been to the Skins.
The 2010 Chicago Bears are going to be a team that people throw out as a good example of improving your team through free agency. Last year they signed Julius Peppers to a 6 years 91+ million dollar deal with over 40 mil guaranteed. No doubt Peppers made a huge impact in 2010, but he is 31 years old already and will be declining in his career will make more than any other player on the team. I think this was a great short-term move by the Bears, but they will be hurt in the long-term as they have had a lot of bad drafts and that's according to Bears fans I've talked to, not just me.
We have to upgrade at the RCB position, but their are plenty of options. First of all, we nearly beat the Superbowl champs even though the right side of our O-line was beyond awful, Vick was bad beaten at the end of the season, we were one of the worst redzone offenses and defenses, we had no QB pressure from our D-line, and we missed two crucial field goals against the Pack in the playoffs. The line will be improved on both sides with coaching legends Howard Mudd and Jim Washburn. The kicking game will be no worse with maybe the best rookie kicker singe Mason Crosby. Juan Castillo had the confidence of Jim Johnson back when he was our DC so I have no doubt that he will fix our redzone woes. So with that being said, we don't have to have a pro bowl CB come in in order to compete with the big boys, but we have to improve at that position.
There's younger and cheaper options on the free agent market if we have to go that route, Jonathon Joseph, Brent Grimes and Richard Marshall could all be available. The guy I think we should get is Dominique Rogers-Cromartie of the Arizona Cardinals. It was reported earlier in the week that the Eagles will probably receive a starter and a first round pick for Quarterback Kevin Kolb. The only starter that really makes sense is DRC. The Cards drafted Patrick Peterson and are very high on CB Greg Toler. DRC is currently halfway through his rookie deal that is worth a reported 6 year 16 million dollar deal. He is cheaper than Nnamdi, and has about 7 years of his best football still left in him. He also is a ballhawk like Asante, and would greatly benefit from playing opposite of Samuel. The only question remains, will Arizona actually deal their 2008 first round pick along with their 2012 first round pick.
Currently we have 23 players on our offense and 24 players on defense that we have drafted, and that's not even including our undrafted players. We aren't the New York Yankees, we build our team through the draft and that's why we stay competitive every single year. It works for the Yankees because they technically have no salary cap in baseball. The Green Bay Packers are another example of how building your team through the draft is the best way to go. Patriots are another good example along with the Colts. Championships are not won in free agency and Andy Reid an co. knows that. That is why I believe we will pass on Nnamdi Asomugha and a good portion of people on BGN will bitch and moan, but secretly thank our front office in a couple years.
Now if Nnamdi is willing to take less money and years to play for a contender like us, then it would be a great move. But maybe Brian Dawkins will come back to the Eagles in his prime and maybe the Flyers will win the 2011 Stanley Cup. My point is, it's not going to happen. He will get many lucrative offers from teams that say they are ready to compete for a Superbowl. The Lions are going to say "Hey, look at our offense and look at our D-line, your the missing link". Teams will break their backs to get Nnamdi and prove to him they can win if that is actually is number one priority. A guy that signed that ridiculous contract to play for Oakland and Al Davis is probably going to chase the money.