PHILADELPHIA >> Nnamdi Asomugha’s stint in Philadelphia ended after two disappointing seasons.
The Eagles released the former All-Pro cornerback on Tuesday, just two years after he was the NFL’s most sought-after free agent. General manager Howie Roseman said he and new coach Chip Kelly spoke to Asomugha and “he took the news with a lot of class.”
“He has been a true pro on and off the field for this organization and our community and we wish him all the best as he continues his NFL career,” Roseman said in a statement. “We spoke to his representatives at the combine about his future status with the team and wanted to take time to analyze and make a decision. In the end, Coach and I both felt we needed to move in a different direction at the cornerback position for 2013 and beyond.”
Asomugha was due to make $15 million this season, including $4 million guaranteed, after signing a five-year, $60 million deal with the Eagles in 2011.
Asomugha signed with the Eagles a year after they won the NFC East in a big summer splash of transactions that appeared to give Philadelphia the inside track to at least a conference title.
Asomugha joined defensive linemen Cullen Jenkins and Jason Babin as part of the new-look Eagles defense, and quarterback Vince Young was brought in to back up Michael Vick. There were stars aplenty, on both sides of the field, and it seemed like the sky was the limit for coach Andy Reid’s crew.
The Eagles, though, never came close to reaching their potential. They missed the playoffs in both seasons — including a 4-12 mark last year — and Reid was fired in January. Philadelphia allowed 444 points last season. Only New Orleans (454) was worse in the NFC.
Asomugha had just four interceptions with the Eagles.
With Asomugha gone and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie an unrestricted free agent, the Eagles may need two starting cornerbacks. Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes, Trevard Lindley, Eddie Whitley and Chris Hawkins are the only cornerbacks on their roster. None of them have been starters.