In a continuing effort to make over the roster under new head coach Chip Kelly, the Philadelphia Eagles could release cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha at some point in the near future. Whether or not it happens Wednesday, however, is unclear with conflicting reports coming from NFL sources.
According to Howard Eskin of FOX, Asomugha will be shown his walking papers on Wednesday. However, Jeff McLane says that isn't the case, and that Asomugha could stick around a while longer. Few believe that Asomugha and his $15 million cap hit will be in Philadelphia come training camp, but this saga could have some more play in it.
Last season, Asomugha only made 55 tackles and failed to come up with an interception, hurting his chances of returning with a diminishing skill set across from Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Asomugha was the most sought after free agent two years ago when he left the Oakland Raiders after eight stellar seasons on the west coast. Many thought the New York Jets or Dallas Cowboys would nab him, but the Eagles swooped in at the last moment and inked Asomugha to a five-year, $60 million contract.
When Asomugha is released, he'll join a talented pool of potential free agents. For the first time in a long time, the depth of talent for cornerbacks in free agency is great and plenty of teams are expected to bid for their services. Among the top cornerbacks available are Aqib Talib, Chris Houston, Sean Smith and even Rodgers-Cromartie, who played alongside Asomugha.
When Asomugha hits the open market, he likely won't get a deal similar to the deal he signed with the Eagles. However, teams might bank on him returning to form and still give him good money over three years or so. A lot of talented cornerbacks are available this offseason, but none have a ceiling like Asomugha.
Jason Brewer at Bleeing Green Nation says predicting Asomugha's future production is hard:
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.
In Oakland, Asomugha was arguably the best corner in the league alongside stars such as the New York Jets' Darrelle Revis and Champ Bailey of the Denver Broncos.
Now, Asomugha is seen as overpaid and perhaps over the hill at the ripe age of 31 (he will turn 32 in July), making him expendable for an Eagles team that is looking to go young and create cap space.
Philadelphia also has the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL Draft, right around where Dee Milliner, the standout corner for the Alabama Crimson Tide, is expected to be taken.