Eagles swoop in, snag Asomugha

Nnamdi Asomugha had a tough choice: the New York Jets or the Dallas Cowboys?

Then, the Philadelphia Eagles swooped in and snagged the biggest prize in this year's free agent frenzy.

The All-Pro cornerback signed a five-year contract Friday with the Eagles, who gave the former Oakland Raiders star a deal that would pay him $60 million over the life of it, with $25 million guaranteed.

It was a stunning development as the Jets and Cowboys were thought to be the final teams in the sweepstakes for Asomugha's services. Rex Ryan and the Jets dreamed of a No-Fly Zone secondary with Asomugha paired with Darrelle Revis. Meanwhile, the Cowboys and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, Rex's twin brother, imagined how improved their defense would be with one big move.

Turns out, the Eagles were the team celebrating in the end.

The signing came a day after Philadelphia acquired Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from Arizona. The Eagles also formally announced a one-year deal for quarterback Vince Young, a 2006 first-round pick of Tennessee. Young, who went 30-2 as a starter at Texas and led the Longhorns to a national championship in his final game there only to have an up-and-down tenure with the Titans, will back up starter Michael Vick.

Asomugha, considered the top free agent on the market, spent his first eight seasons with the Raiders and is regarded as one of the best players at his position. But the Eagles now have three Pro Bowl cornerbacks on their roster: Asomugha, Rodgers-Cromartie and Asante Samuel, who has 42 interceptions in eight years and has made the Pro Bowl four straight years.

The Indianapolis Colts expect to begin training camp practices Monday without Peyton Manning, who not only is coming off neck surgery, but doesn't have a contract.

Coach Jim Caldwell said the star quarterback is "not ready right now" and that the team will "turn him loose" when he is ready to play.

Manning is in the midst of negotiations on a new contract that Colts owner Jim Irsay says will make the four-time league MVP the highest-paid player in NFL history. Manning has never missed a start — the streak is at 227, including playoffs, the longest active one in the league.

At Patriots camp, Chad Ochocinco was wearing his usual number 85 at practice, one day after being traded by the Cincinnati Bengals.

The verbose Ochocinco didn't speak with reporters, although the Patriots officially announced the trade for undisclosed draft considerations on Friday. They still hadn't announced the trade for Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.

New England did release seven players, including defensive end Ty Warren, tight end Alge Crumpler and offensive tackle Nick Kaczur. All carried salary cap numbers of at least $3 million. Also released were linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, defensive lineman Marcus Stroud, cornerback Tony Carter and linebacker Ryan Coulson.

The Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers released Mark Tauscher, a fixture at right tackle for the better part of a decade, along with linebackers Nick Barnett, Brandon Chillar and Brady Poppinga and defensive lineman Justin Harrell.

At Spartanburg, S.C., No. 1 draft pick Cam Newton signed a deal with the Carolina Panthers and was attending team meetings. The Panthers said on Twitter that the quarterback "had officially signed on the dotted line."

Bus Cook, Newton's agent, told The Associated Press via a text message Friday night that the deal was for four years and "$22 million-plus."

Panthers coach Ron Rivera had said earlier Friday that he expected the former Auburn quarterback to be at Wofford College when Carolina held its first practice session today.

Share This Story