There was a bit of a negative tone in the comments of yesterday’s post about the Eagles and their reported reluctance to go after Nnamdi Asomugha…a “here we go again” type thing.
One comparison was this to the TO situation in 2004. No way. Not even a close comparison. The Eagles WR play in 2003 was atrocious. For those who have tried to block that out, let’s take a quick glance at the numbers.
Todd Pinkston —- 36 – 575 – 2
James Thrash —– 49 – 558 – 1
Freddie Mitchell — 35 – 498 – 2
Our top 3 WRs totaled 5 TD catches for the season. FB Jon Ritchie had 3 TD catches, almost matching them. The NFC-CG was an even worse disaster for the WRs. The Eagles had to address WR. It wasn’t an option, it was a “must”. Andy Reid said “we’re fine at WR”, but that was just coachspeak. He knew an impact player was needed. We landed Terrell Owens after a strange couple of weeks. He was a Niner. He was a Raven. He was back to being a Niner. He was an Eagle. Life was good for about a year. Then came the sit-ups…
Back to the future. We have a top shelf CB in place already in the form of Asante Samuel. We have a good slot guy in Joselio Hanson. We have some young guys that we hope can play. This isn’t nearly as troubled a group as WR was back in 2004.
We do need help. There is no good RCB on the roster right now. The Eagles know that and will fill the spot. I think too many people see Asomugha or nothing. That’s not the case. There are other options. We haven’t discussed them at length because we don’t yet know the FA rules so it’s hard to know who to focus on.
I think there are a couple of issues to keep in mind. Asomugha might become the highest paid defensive player in the league when he signs his new deal. We might have the “cap space” for that, but does that fit the budget and team. Trent Cole isn’t thrilled with his contract. He’s projected to make $3M this year. If we bring in a CB who would make 4 to 5 times that…Trent might go nuts. How would Asante handle it? Would he go crazy and point out the INT discrepancy between the two? Asante is very well paid, but we know CBs can be divas. We’ve got DeSean Jackson to think about. If we give out a huge, huge contract to Asomugha, that could affect the negotiations with DJax. And guys like Shady McCoy and Jeremy Maclin would also be watching. They’ll be expecting big deals at some point in the near future.
Someone in the comments section made the next point and he’s right…Samuel and Asomugha are the same age. We might be forced to replace both at the same time, something that is far from ideal. You’d rather stagger that.
I think the Eagles want a CB who is in his mid-20s. That would give him 5 more years of top shelf play. The cost will be more reasonable and fit in better to the overall salary structure. This isn’t about being cheap. The question is whether you can afford to have both starting CBs be among the highest paid guys in the league at the same time. Is that smart business? Sam can weigh in on whether that’s wise or not.
The Eagles will address RCB, via free agency or trade. They know we need a significant upgrade. Asomugha would be a luxury. I just don’t see that happening. We will get a good player.
The Eagles will be active once the offseason begins. Think about the players we’ve talked about right here as possible additions – Plaxico Burress, Reggie Bush, Albert Haynesworth, Matt Hasselbeck. Those are some real interesting names. We haven’t gotten into Jason Babin much, but he could be a target. I’ve been meaning to write something up on him.
The last 3 to 4 years the Eagles have built up a young, talented roster. We can see where the holes are. Andy and Howie Roseman will fill them when the offseason starts. Andy knows he’s closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Howie is itching to show the NFL that he can put together a Super Bowl team. Those guys feel the pressure of the situation and will act accordingly. If we had no good CBs in place, I can guarantee you Roseman would do everything in his power to make Asomugha an Eagle. With Samuel in place, the need is different and that makes it less enticing to give out a monster contract.
Waiting and not knowing is the hardest part. That’s true for us, Big Red, and Howie. At least they know the plan. All we can do is sit back and speculate.
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Reason for hope? The tone of the negotiation stories does seem to be getting better. Please let something good happen.