With each passing day, we presumably are getting closer to the point where the league year will begin and the free agency floodgates will open.
Among the players at the top of the wish list for many teams is Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, considered the top defensive player available in free agency.
The Eagles are among the teams in need of a starting cornerback, although the question remains whether they will want to tie up so much money in one position, given the financial commitment to Asante Samuel. One report suggested that Asomugha could get $18 million per year. Samuel signed a 6-year, $57 million contract before the 2008 season, with $20 million guaranteed.
Where the market is will obviously determine how a number of teams proceed, among them the Houston Texans. The NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora reported that the Texans are among the teams expected to be interested in Asomugha.
The Texans indeed are prepared to be aggressive in free agency, according to league sources, and will be among the teams pursuing All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
While awaiting a collective bargaining agreement and new free-agency rules, it's very difficult to gauge the market and how high the price for a top cornerback will go. But look for the Texans to closely monitor that market and determine if the price point on Asomugha fits their budget.
Adam Caplan, of FoxSports.com, reported last week that the Eagles could be looking at a cheaper alternative in the Steelers' Ike Taylor. However, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that re-signing Taylor will be the Steelers' top priority in free agency when the lockout ends. Whether they can do so, and what his asking price will be, are a different matter.
Taylor's agent, Joel Segal, declined to comment to the P-G on whether he spoke with the Steelers before the lockout began. He also would not comment on where he thought the bidding would start for Taylor but said Taylor is "one in a handful of top cornerbacks" in free agency.
Another option could be Carlos Rogers, from the Redskins, who declared in May that he was ready for a change, and mentioned the idea of playing against Washington twice a year.
“I ain’t never discounting the Redskins, but my mindset right now is that it’s time for a change,” Rogers told David Elfin, of CBS Sports Washington. “I don’t think I’ve been as appreciated as I should be in that organization, not by everybody. I’ve always been the No. 2 corner, but I’m the one they put on a guy they want to shut down. I just don’t have the interceptions like (current fellow starting corner DeAngelo Hall) has and Shawn (Springs, Hall’s predecessor) used to have.
“My agent’s real confident that I’m going to get a good contract. After [Oakland’s Nnamdi Asomugha), who’s going to get real big money, I’m the next corner out there. You hear that the Cowboys and Eagles are looking for a corner. It would be fun to play against the Redskins twice a year.”
The Birds have high hopes for Trevard Lindley, a fourth-round pick in 2010, and Curtis Marsh, selected in the third round out of Utah State this year, but it seems apparent they will need a veteran, even if it is only for the short term.
The Eagles front office has said it has an aggressive plan once free agency begins. Team president Joe Banner said recently that they don't intend to "stand pat" with the current roster.
Whether Asomugha -- and his big salary -- is part of that plan remains to be seen.