Jets Miss Out on Asomugha, Giants Lose Too

Big contract lures Asomugha into secondary of Giants' fiercest rivals

By Josh Alper
|  Saturday, Jul 30, 2011  |  Updated 9:19 AM EDT
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Jets, Giants Lose Asomugha

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The flight of the Eagles was more appealing than that of the Jets.

There will be no Batman and Robin type superhero tandems covering wide receivers for the Jets this season.

Nnamdi Asomugha, Darrelle Revis's closest rival for the crown of best cornerback in the NFL, has decided to take his talents to Broad Street where he will suit up for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Jets, Cowboys and others were in hot pursuit of Asomugha, making it something of a shocker Friday evening when the Eagles announced they landed the most prized free agent on the market.

The turn of events is obviously a blow to the Jets. They spent the last few days trying to convince the former Raider to form one of the best cornerback pairings the league has ever known and after years of always getting their man (Revis, Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and so forth) they came up short in the end.

The bright side is that Asomugha would have been doubling down at a position of strength when the Jets still have other needs. The money saved -- $60 million over five years with $24 million guaranteed, a bit more than Revis overall but less guaranteed money -- can now be spent helping the pass rush, the receivers and the secondary.

That last one might be accomplished by now turning to Antonio Cromartie, last year's starter and a free agent who was likely waiting for Asomugha to sign before shopping himself to the unlucky bidders. You could even argue that the team would be better under this scenario, but losing Asomugha really stings after coming so close.

It stings for the Giants as well. If Asomugha went to the Jets, it would have tilted the PR war even further in Rex Ryan's favor but it wouldn't have had much on-field impact.

Now, though, the Giants will have to face Asomugha twice a year alongside two other good corners, assuming one isn't traded, in Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie and Asante Samuel. The Eagles already rushed the passer extremely well, now they will be even fiercer with so much security down the field.

That doesn't sound great for Eli Manning or for a Giants team that hasn't beaten the Eagles since Michael Vick was still in prison. The battle for the top of the NFC East hasn't come close to starting, so it certainly hasn't ended but the Eagles struck a pretty major blow on Friday.

The Asomugha signing capped one of the wildest weeks in the history of the NFL with players flying this way and that as if it were a bunch of fantasy teams making the deals instead of real ones. The fun figures to last a bit longer as teams try to situate themselves after a long, long offseason caused by the lockout.

However long it lasts, it is hard to imagine there will be a move with this kind of impact on both New York teams.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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