ProFootballTalk speculates about CB Nnamdi Asomugha's future in Philly

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

As the Cleveland Browns had the week off with their bye, the NFL rumor mill kept turning.

First there was a story by Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports that soon-to-be former Brown's team president Mike Holmgren would be "truly" interested in coaching for the Dallas Cowboys with the potential opening at the end of the season. Holmgren himself was quick to shoot down such rumors.

I see your "Holmgren to Dallas," and raise you an "Asomugha out of Philadelphia."

It started with a tweet on Monday from Adam Caplan, an analyst for the Eagle's official website, offering some details on cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha's contract.

Later that evening ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio took it one further and speculated about Asomugha's future with the Eagles and even whether they'd consider benching him this season.

Cutting Asomugha after the season would trigger no cap hit, other than the $4 million in guaranteed money. His contract had no signing bonus, with the Eagles using a structure that equates compensation to cap number each year.

There’s a way the Eagles could make Asomugha’s cash and cap number less problematic next season. Per the source, the contract reduces Asomugha’s pay by $3 million in 2013 if the participates in fewer than 90 percent of the snaps in 2011 or 2012. Benching Asomugha late in the year for a couple of games would prevent him from hitting that number, dropping his salary to $12 million.

Florio concludes that regardless of whether Asomugha is benched for not, "no one will pay him $15 million next season."

That begs the question, assuming Asomugha does in fact become a free agent, where will he land next?

If Asomugha jumped ship in Oakland because he wanted to play for a winner, the last team you'd expect to be on his radar is the Cleveland Browns. That's probably a safe bet, but I wouldn't completely rule it out.

Do not forget that Joe Banner was team president for the Eagles when Asomugha hit the free agent market in the summer of 2011 and a vital piece to the negations that eventually landed the cornerback in Philadelphia. Still, that team was considered to be a winner at the time.

Let's assume for a moment that Joe Banner and new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam actually managed to bring in the right group of guys to pull off another apparent steal out of nowhere and were somehow able to convince Asomugha to consider Cleveland.

The next question is, would you want Asomugha, who will be 32-years-old next season, on the Browns lining up opposite the young up-and-coming CB in Joe Haden? Perhaps a better way to phrase that question is, what would you want that contract to look like?

Would you be open to the Browns investing the kind of money it might take to land Asomugha? Corners such as Charles Woodson and Ronde Barber are playing well even into their late 30's.

It wasn't all that long ago that Nnamdi Asomugha was considered the best corner in the league. Surely a team with the right amount of cap space will be willing to throw $9 million (or more) a year his way, despite his recent decline with the Eagles this season.

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