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Eagles swoop in, land prize free agent Asomugha

Associated Press / July 30, 2011

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Philadelphia has become quite the attractive destination of late. Yesterday, Nnamdi Asomugha joined the party.

One day after acquiring Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from the Cardinals, the Eagles stunned the NFL world, and signed another Pro Bowl cornerback, Asomugha, to a five-year contract.

Very quietly, while other teams - particularly the New York Jets - made headlines in their pursuit of Asomugha, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and president Joe Banner made a pitch to him that he simply could not refuse.

Asomugha’s deal will pay him $60 million, with $25 million guaranteed.

“Howie and Joe worked their tail off and put together this phenomenal plan,’’ Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said. “They came out of the gates like wild men and attacked the issue. But they’ve rewarded our football team and the city of Philadelphia with some great players.’’

Asomugha spent his first eight seasons with the Raiders. He had a career-high eight interceptions in 2006, went to the Pro Bowl after the 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2008 and 2010.

The Eagles now have three Pro Bowl cornerbacks: Asomugha, Rodgers-Cromartie, and Asante Samuel, who has made the Pro Bowl four straight years.

Lost in the Asomugha shuffle was the fact that the Eagles also formally announced a one-year deal for quarterback Vince Young, a 2006 first-round pick of Tennessee. Young, who an up-and-down tenure with the Titans, will back up Eagles starter Michael Vick. The Eagles also officially signed Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin to a five-year contract.

Manning isn’t ready When the Colts open training camp Monday, quarterback Peyton Manning won’t be ready to suit up, and the team’s not sure how long it will take to get the four-time MVP back. Coach Jim Caldwell said the Colts will be cautious with their franchise quarterback, who had neck surgery in May. “Obviously, he’s not ready right now, but nobody works harder and is more dedicated than him,’’ Caldwell said. The Colts also announced they had agreed to deals with kicker Adam Vinatieri and safety Melvin Bullitt . . . The Dolphins have reached a contract agreement with free agent quarterback Matt Moore, The Oregonian reported. The deal possibly takes the Dolphins out of the market for Denver quarterback Kyle Orton. The Dolphins also cut veteran linebacker Channing Crowder, who was entering the final year of his contract . . . Mark Brunell was cut by the Jets, but the 40-year-old quarterback could return to the team to back up Mark Sanchez at a reduced salary. The Jets also cut backup quarterback Kevin O’Connell, and punter Steve Weatherford said he is leaving the Jets to join the Giants . . . Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora, seeking to renegotiate his contract, failed to report for the opening day of the Giants camp and was placed on the reserve-did not report list . . . Plaxico Burress met with Tom Coughlin in a bid to convince him he can be a productive member of the team again. Burress was released from prison June 6.

Jaguars add Landry The Jaguars, who earlier signed free agent linebackers Paul Posluszny and Clint Session, continued to rebuild their defense by agreeing to terms with free agent safety Dawan Landry on a five-year contract. Landry spent the last five years in Baltimore . . . The Falcons agreed to terms with free agent defensive end Ray Edwards and brought back free agent Pro Bowl tackle Tyson Clabo. To make cap room, the team released defensive end Jamaal Anderson and receiver Michael Jenkins . . . A pair of Pro Bowl running backs - the Titans’ Chris Johnson and the 49ers’ Frank Gore - failed to show up for the start of training. Both are seeking to revamp their contracts . . . Wide receiver Roy Williams and defensive lineman Vernon Gholston agreed to deals with the Bears . . . The Rams solidified their offensive line, agreeing to terms with free agent Harvey Dahl . . . Mark Tauscher, a fixture at right tackle for the better part of a decade for the Packers, was cut, along with linebacker Nick Barnett . . . The Saints released former Patriot cornerback Randall Gay.

McNabb deal is done The Vikings finalized the trade with Washington that brings Donovan McNabb to Minnesota. The Vikings sent a 2012 sixth-round draft choice and a conditional 2013 sixth-rounder. McNabb had to agree to a restructuring of the five-year, $78 million deal he signed with the Redskins for the trade to work . . . Quarterback Alex Smith signed a one-year free agent contract to return to the 49ers . . . No. 1 overall draft pick Cam Newton signed with the Panthers, the quarterback agreeing a four-year, $22 million deal. Other first-round picks to sign include defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, with the Steelers; offensive lineman Gabe Carimi with the Bears; defensive lineman Marcell Dareus with the Bills; and quarterback Jake Locker with the Titans . . . Steelers linebacker James Harrison says he should have used a “better vocabulary’’ when criticizing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a magazine article earlier this month.

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