Howard Eskin is reporting that the Eagles will release CB Nnamdi Asomugha today after two years with the team. Asomugha was scheduled to make $15 million this year and will pocket $4m million despite being shown the door.
[Note by JasonB, 03/06/13 10:48 AM EST ] The Eagles are now denying this report. The feeling around the league is that he will be cut, but the transaction won't happen today. Could come later this week.
The team had been trying to negotiate a pay cut to keep Nnamdi at a more reasonable price, but obviously those negotiations didn't bear fruit. With Asomugha having $4 million guarnateed and the Eagles likely not willing to pay any more, getting released will probably be more profitable for the veteran corner anyway.
The absolute flop that Asomugha was in Philadelphia has to go down as one of the most surprising and disappointing free agency signings in franchise history. The day he signed, Nnamdi was widely considered the best or second best corner in the NFL. The move was roundly applauded as a coup for the Eagles.
No one predicted what would actually happen. Actually, "what happened" is still a question without a firm answer. Certainly trying to fit a man corner into more zone schemes didn't help, but more than that... Nnamdi just seems to have lost it. His reactions became slow, he appeared to have lost at least a step if not two, and his body language looked like a guy that had given up. Routinely after being burned for a TD, you'd see him throwing hands up in frustration or blaming someone else.
Now, he certainly did not get a lot of help from the Eagles safeties... But again, this was the consensus best or second best corner in the NFL at one point. That he felt he needed so much help was a bad sign in itself. If you're looking for one stat to encapsulate just how bad Asomugha was, consider this one from Pro Football Focus. QBs targeting Nnamdi Asomugha last season had a passer rating of 120.6.
As for Nnamdi's future, it's hard to say. He's 31 now and his last two years can't be seen as anything but a rapid decline. He'll get another NFL job and I'm sure that fanbase will convince themselves he can turn it around... And maybe he can get his confidence back, which will help. But is he getting his legs back? That's a lot less likely.
For the Eagles, Nnamdi's release leaves them without much at CB position (though you could say that even if he was still here). Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a free agent, so currently the Eagles CBs are Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes, Trevard Lindley, Eddie Whitely and Chris Hawkins.
So clearly, they'll be targeting the position in free agency and the draft.