Wednesday, December 12, 2012
What's the Eagles' future at cornerback?
By Dan Graziano
Paul Domowitch is looking into the Philadelphia Eagles' future. And while he acknowledges that the biggest offseason decisions the team faces are at head coach and quarterback, there are obviously other big decisions beyond that. So Paul today is looking at the issue of what to do with starting cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who have had their moments but have, overall, been disappointing.
As Paul points out, it's not as simple as just ditching them both and starting over, since it's tough to find good corners, and each of these guys has had enough success in his career to make them worth keeping around just in case they get better. And Rodgers-Cromartie is still quite young. The key, as always, is money. Asomugha hasn't played up to his contract and likely would need to take a pay cut to stay. And Rodgers-Cromartie is free-agent eligible and likely to get overpaid on a market in which, as we've already discussed, it's tough to find good corners. Paul's take:
I suspect the Eagles will approach Asomugha about restructuring his deal. I think Asomugha will be willing to take a paycut. But how much of one? Judging by his play, I'm not sure I'd be willing to give him more than $6 million next year. Just $4 million of the remaining money on his deal is guaranteed, so releasing him wouldn't be too painful.
Rodgers-Cromartie has a lot of talent. Maybe as much as any corner in the league. But the kid's a flake who often seems more into his pink wardrobe than playing football.
He made the Pro Bowl with the Cardinals 3 years ago in just his second season in the league, intercepting six passes. But he hasn't played anywhere close to that level on a consistent basis since.
Should the Eagles overpay him, bring him back and hope the next head coach and defensive coordinator can figure out the secret to lighting a fire under him? Easy for us to say. It's not our money.
Indeed it is not, and the man whose money it is has bigger decisions to make before he gets to this one. But the secondary is a major offseason focal point for the Eagles, who could use some upgrades at safety as well. The offensive line is probably going to be okay once everyone gets healthy. And quarterback ... who knows? Maybe it's Nick Foles, maybe it's someone else not currently on the roster. But the Eagles are 4-9 and clearly have more than one problem. This is one about which you can expect to hear much more in the coming months.