Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Eagles say goodbye to Asomugha

The Philadelphia Eagles parted ways with cornerback Nnadmi Asomugha just before the start of Tuesday's free agency period, putting an end to the once-coveted cover man's disappointing two-year tenure with the team.

The Eagles signed Asomugha, widely considered to be the prize of the 2011 free-agent class, to a lucrative five-year, $60-million pact shortly after the lockout, but the four-time All-Pro generally failed to meet expectations over his two seasons and was scheduled to earn $15 million in 2013.

Philadelphia will still owe Asomugha, who had been among the league's elite corners during his eight seasons with the Oakland Raiders, $4 million for this coming season, but weren't able to reach an agreement with the 31-year-old on a restructured pact.

"We spoke to his representatives at the Combine about his future status with the team and wanted to take time to analyze and make a decision," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said in a statement. "In the end, Coach [Chip Kelly] and I both felt we needed to move in a different direction at the cornerback position for 2013 and beyond."

Asomugha played in all 32 games with the Eagles over the past two seasons, recording a total of four interceptions and 17 passes defensed, but was one of the prime culprits in a shoddy secondary that permitted a league-high 33 touchdowns through the air during Philadelphia's rough 4-12 campaign of 2012.

"Coach Kelly and I each had a chance to speak with Nnamdi earlier and he took the news with a lot of class," said Roseman. "We expected nothing less than that from him. He has been a true pro on and off the field for this organization and our community, and we wish him all the best as he continues his NFL career."

A first-round draft choice of Oakland in 2003, Asomugha went to three straight Pro Bowls with the Raiders from 2008-10 prior to joining the Eagles.

Asomugha released his own statement later in the day which read:

"I’m very grateful for my time in Philadelphia and I want to thank the Eagles organization for the opportunity to play here. It was an honor to play in such a great football city with such a passionate fan base, and I wish my former teammates and coaches the best next season."

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