According to CSNPhilly.com, the buzz at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis is that the Philadelphia Eagles have "already made up their minds to move on" from their two starting cornerbacks, Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
This after the Birds tried to restructure the $15 million contract Asomugha has for 2013 -- with $4 million of that guaranteed -- offering him the choice to accept less money or get released. And while no word has yet been given on Asomugha's answer, his agent has said the team's request was for Asomugha to take a "massive pay cut" if he wants to remain in Philly.
Seems fair to me. He hasn't yet lived up to the checks he's already cashed from the team, and some fans have even suggested that Asomugha should be paying the Eagles this season, and not the other way around.
Perhaps not a bad idea, but it's sounding likely the Birds will be paying Asomugha to just go away at this point, since the $4 million is his whether he stays or goes.
But what a sequence of events for Philadelphia's defense, huh?
The Eagles released veteran defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson within hours of each other on Monday, and now we're hearing word that neither of the team's starting cornerbacks will return for 2013.
It's not altogether surprising; Rodgers-Cromartie is set to become a free agent, and Asomugha is, at this point, being paid for what he did with the Oakland Raiders and not for what he's been doing for the Eagles.
Still, in this offseason of major changes, two things are starting to become clear:
First, the Birds are stockpiling salary cap space. For who/what specifically, we can't say right now, but assuming Asomugha is released, we're talking in the neighborhood of $44 million under the cap . . . and counting?
Second, 2013 could be even more painful than we thought. You never know, of course; we might be looking at an exciting, young, energetic team by the time the season tips off, but the holes that exist right now aren't typically easy to plug and expect success right away. We're most likely headed for four new starters in the secondary, and even if the defensive backfield were the only area that needed addressing, that'd still be a tall order.
Needless to say, this is an important stretch coming up for Philadelphia, in terms of personnel. With veterans at key positions on the way out, what the Birds do this offseason in trades, free agency and the draft will be crucial to the new foundation Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman will have to construct.
Adam Sparks has followed the Philadelphia Eagles since the 1980s, and has written about the team as a freelancer since 2010.
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