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Philadelphia Has Cap Freedom

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27: Nnamdi Asomugha #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles takes the field through the smoke during player introductions against the New England Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27: Nnamdi Asomugha #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles takes the field through the smoke during player introductions against the New England Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

With the NFL free agency market about to kick off, teams are scurrying to free up bad contracts to put themselves in a position to acquire new talent. The Philadelphia Eagles are typically viewed as a savvy, yet boisterous organization; not afraid to make a big splash, but unwilling to succumb to the pressures of a prima donna wide receiver or an aging quarterback who always felt slighted in the town he could never win a ring for.

Now that we’ve addressed Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb, it’s always fascinating to see how the Eagles brace themselves for free agency. Over the last few years, the Eagles have made headlines bringing in the likes of Michael Vick—fresh out of a year and a half prison stint—Jevon Kearse, Ronnie Brown, Vince Young, Jason Babin and some shutdown corner that immediately made the cover of Sports Illustrated after the national media declared him a better corner than Haight and Ashbury.

According to Eaglescap.com, the Eagles are boasting a war chest with a little over $33 million to spend this offseason and this number could go up.

The Eagles have already cut Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins, freeing up almost $9 million in cap space, and I don’t think anyone knows what Chip Kelly has in mind for this team. Aging players appear to be on the chopping block—assuming it makes fiscal sense to part ways—but there is one player that has been a relative punching bag this offseason due to his heavy contract and lack of play.

That so-called shutdown corner is Nnamdi Asomugha, and he’s been a flat out disappointment since he’s been a member of the Eagles. Asomugha is slated to make $15 million this year, but the Eagles can cut him and only have to pay him $4 million. I applauded the Eagles organization for his signing at the time, but his production on the field, or lack thereof, is not only a cause for concern: it’s the reason the Eagles need to end the relationship and eat the $4 million.

If Asomugha is cut, it will free up about $11.3 million in cap room. There’s been talk of restructuring his deal, but why would the Eagles do this? Unless Asomugha is willing to dramatically reduce his annual salary and load his contract up with incentives, the only move is to cut him.

With a bevy of draft picks and a boatload of money to spend this offseason, the Eagles are in a prime position to add some serious talent. Combine Kelly’s creativity and duffle bags of cash, interesting things are on the horizon.