It only took a matter of hours for the Eagles to cut ties to perhaps their most disappointing part of their failed free-agent frenzy of 2011 while embarking on a more low-key spending spree this time around as they signed five players Tuesday night. When the Eagles signed cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to a five-year, $60 million contract two years ago, he was considered the crown jewel of a class former Eagles quarterback Vince Young dubbed the “dream team.” That failed miserably as the Eagles went 12-20 over the last two seasons, and it culminated in Asomugha’s release Tuesday afternoon, less than an hour before the start of free agency. None of the new players has the pedigree or reputation — not to mention the salary — of Asomugha, but they all address needs for the Eagles. The newly signed players are former St. Louis Rams cornerback Bradley Fletcher, former Houston Texans tight end James Casey, former New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung, former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga and former Carolina Panthers linebacker James Phillips. Sopoaga, Chung and Casey signed three-year deals, while Fletcher and Phillips signed two-year deals. The Eagles likely have room to sign more free agents as Asomugha’s release put them as much as $45 million under the NFL’s salary cap. The Eagles will owe Asomugha $4 million, but it’s a huge savings over the $15 million he was due to make in 2013. The Eagles did talk to Asomugha’s agent last month at the NFL Scouting Combine about a pay cut, but decided to release him instead. The Eagles recently released defensive linemen Cullen Jenkins and Jason Babin from that free-agent class, as well as three others after the 2011 season. Offensive lineman Evan Mathis could be the lone player left when the 2013 season starts. The Eagles passed over the big names in the secondary — a position the Eagles need to rebuild — such as San Francisco safety Dashon Goldson and Miami cornerback Sean Smith to go with Chung and Fletcher. Fletcher started 26 of 43 games in four seasons with the Rams, with five interceptions, while Chung started 30 of 50 games in four seasons with New England, with seven interceptions. Chung also played for new Eagles coach Chip Kelly at the University of Oregon. Kelly was the offensive coordinator back then.
Eagles release Asomugha, sign 5 players
Courier-Post | Mar 13