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Eagles sign Johnnie Lee Higgins plus cornerback

NFL network’s Jay Glazer is reporting that the Philadelphia Eagles have signed former Raiders’ free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. It’s really difficult to say that, “former Raiders’ cornerback.” But Nnamdi is headed to the east side of the country to fly with the Eagles. The deal is for 5 years, $60 million with $25 million guaranteed.

Asomugha made a name for himself by shutting receivers down for half of the field against Raider opponents. The former Cal safety was shockingly drafted in the first round of the 2003 NFL draft with the 21st overall pick. After eight seasons with the Raiders, he became the most popular player on the Raider roster and a player who opposing quarterbacks avoided at all costs.

It’s surprising to me that Al Davis would not match the $12 million per year, but then on the other hand, he said back in February that he could get two to three players for the price of one. Clearly the Raiders had some cap room to play with, given the fact that they haven’t released any players. But apparently it wasn’t enough wiggle room for Al to “keep his guy” as he has been known to do in the past.

One of those three players that Davis thought he could get for the price of an Asomugha appears to be Jared Gaither. That is actually a really good move, considering that they need so much help in their offensive front. Even Head Coach Hue Jackson sort of admitted it was a weak spot on the team. Now the Raiders may have a 6’9″ tackle on one side and a 6’8″ tackle on the other. And both of these guys are young, coachable, and carry a ton of upside with them.

According to Jay Glazer, the Arizona Cardinals jumped into the race late last night and they were the “surprise team.” We may never know if Nnamdi even had talks with Davis and the Raiders.

The Eagles had previously traded for Domonique Rogers-Cromartie from the Arizona Cardinals when the Cardinals aquired quarterback Kevin Kolb. That leaves Asante Samuel as the odd man out and it remains to be seen if the Eagles will release or trade him. Most likely they will trade him.

Aside from Samuel going onto the trade block, Antonio Cromartie still remains as the top cornerback on the FA list. Chris Carr and Nate Clements are also highly touted man-to-man cornerbacks. Chris Carr is a former Raider who played solid football in 2010 and was perhaps the Baltimore Ravens’ best cornerback. However, Levi and I agree that bringing Carr back is not the best case scenario.

But the move by Asomugha leaves the Raiders in need of a cornerback. TFDS will keep you informed of all the potential possibilities. The best case scenario at this point would be Cromartie, but the Jets are now in need of a player to play opposite of Darrell Revis and Cromartie is said to be their top priority. Other remaining free agent cornerbacks include Carlos Rogers of the Redskins, Richard Marshall of the Panthers, and Kelly Jennings of the Seahawks.

This move leaves the Raiders in position to make a deal with Zach Miller with the potential to bring back Michael Huff, with whom they were reportedly in negotiations last February. That would make Al Davis’ three players, Miller, Huff, and Gaither. I’d say that is a fair deal for losing Nnamdi.

The move also leaves the number 21 open for incoming rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke. DVD has been joking about taking the number since he was drafted back in April. Now it may become a reality for the youngster. Unless Stanford Routt, the man replacing Nnamdi, wants it instead. He has seniority!

The Eagles also announced that they have signed former Raider wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins. Higgins was the veteran of the group. The fact that he was not re-signed could mean the Raiders are in line to make a play for a wide receiver. Notable remaining wide recevers include Braylon Edwards, Steve Smith of the Giants, Malcolm Floyd, James Jones, and Mike Sims-Walker. Former Ravens wideout Derrick Mason should also be considered as a veteran option with his connections to Head Coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Al Saunders.

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