Eagles look Super Bowl good

Nnamdi Asomugha. (Reuters)

Nnamdi Asomugha. (Reuters)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:31 PM ET

The Philadelphia Eagles don’t appear willing to let the NFL spotlight shine elsewhere.

Out of nowhere, a day after trading for Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Eagles snapped up an even better corner, Nnamdi Asomugha on a five-year contract worth $60 million, $25 million guaranteed.

Asomugha was considered the top free agent on the market this off-season and the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys had been in hot pursuit, along with the San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans.

Asomugha had spent eight seasons with Oakland, making the Pro Bowl the past three seasons and first-team all-pro in 2008 and 2010.

He is so good that his stats look bad — just three interceptions over the past three seasons — because opposing quarterbacks rarely throw balls in his direction. With Asomugha, holdover Asante Samuel (a Pro Bowler four straight seasons) and Rodgers-Cromartie, acquired for backup quarterback Kevin Kolb, teams might simply try their luck on the ground against the Eagles, though Samuel or Rodgers-Cromartie could be moved for an upgrade elsewhere.

The Jets and 49ers had been considered frontrunners for Asomugha before Dallas emerged on Friday. Philadelphia stayed entirely under the radar before landing the big catch.

The Eagles, who will also sign Vince Young to back-up Michael Vick, have added defensive end Jason Babin and are trying to appease star wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who is holding out.

It is a good time to be a Philadelphia sports fan — Sixers aside — as the Eagles may now be Super Bowl favourites, the Phillies could be on their way to another World Series and the Flyers finally have a goaltender.

The Jets were trying to pair Asomugha with Darrelle Revis to form one of the best cornerback combos in NFL history but it didn’t come to pass.

The thinking is the Jets will now turn to their own free agent, Antonio Cromartie, no slouch himself. But the moody Cromartie already was making noises about leaving and might still since he would become a back-up plan for New York.

That would be another blow for the Jets who have been furiously re-working contracts and let Brad Smith go to Buffalo in order to find the cash for Asomugha.

But nobody’s worried about the Jets in Philadelphia.

GIANT CHANCE?

Plaxico Burress might be about to get a second chance with the New York Giants.

According to Profootballtalk.com Burress was to meet with his old team on Friday and with Pittsburgh on Saturday.

“He is coming (Friday) evening and he and Tom are going to sit down, and that’s step one of the process,” Giants owner John Mara said. “And if we move successfully past step one of the process, then we have to see if he fits in terms of our salary cap situation and everything ... We’re a long way from being there, and we’ll just have to see what happens.”

Burress was a Super Bowl hero for the Giants but went to prison after accidentally shooting himself in the leg at a Manhattan night club and has been away from the game for a while.

But the Giants appear ready to mend fences. Pittsburgh seems like a stranger fit, given that franchise’s history of championing character players.

Meanwhile, the Giants have successfully restructured running back Brandon Jacobs’ contract, according to the New York Daily News.

Jacobs will see his base salary cut this season, which will give the Giants a better chance to sign free agents.

QUICK HITS

Top selection Cam Newton has agreed to a four-year deal with Carolina. He will get $22 million guaranteed, a far cry from what other top picks have received in recent years.

A reduction in rookie salaries was a key concession to a new collective bargaining agreement getting signed. Sam Bradford got more than twice as much guaranteed from the St. Louis Rams ... Vonta Leach continues to attract attention. Arguably the top fullback in the league, Leach is being pursued by Dallas, Denver, Baltimore, the New York Giants and his old team, the Houston Texans. Fullbacks don’t usually get a ton of money, but Arian Foster benefited from the holes Leach opened up for him and many teams think he can do the same for their running backs ... Buffalo has signed No. 3 overall selection Marcell Dareus, the Alabama defensive lineman, to a $20.4 million fully guaranteed deal, according to ESPN ... Former Bill Willis McGahee, released by Baltimore, has signed with the Denver Broncos to be an option at running back ... Michael Crabtree will miss another training camp. The 49ers wide receiver held out as a rookie, was hurt last year and this time, a foot injury will cost him at least two months. Expect the 49ers to pursue a wide receiver or two on the free agent market ... There was some thought that he wouldn’t, but Chicago running back Matt Forte will report to training camp on time. Forte has been excellent for the Bears but is still on his rookie contract. Expect the Bears to reward their seventh-leading all-time rusher for showing up without a fuss ... Minnesota, to the surprise of nobody, has announced that newly-acquired quarterback Donovan McNabb will be its starter.

ryan.wolstat@sunmedia.ca


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