The Eagles have the cap space to carry cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha’s $15 million base salary beyond March 12, when every team must be in compliance with the 2013 spending limit. But if they expect Asomugha to consider a reduced contract, Asomugha will want the final decision to be made before the free-agency market opens.
The money flows more freely in the first few days after the checkered flag is waved. After that, it’s harder to get paid in large amounts.
Of course, the Eagles aren’t compelled to do Asomugha any favors. If the player opts to refuse the offer the team makes, the alternative could be not to cut him but to carry him on the roster until it’s too late to get more elsewhere than the Eagles are offering.
Complicating matters for the Eagles is that $4 million of Asomugha’s pay is fully guaranteed, without offset language. Thus, even if the Eagles cut him, he’ll make $4 million this year. And so, if Asomugha ultimately is motivated by money (and he may not be), the Eagles will have to offer at least $4 million more than any other team may be offering on a behind-the-scenes, hypothetical basis.
“We’ve done film evaluation, and our staff and [G.M.] Howie [Roseman] will sit down together and see where we’ll move forward,” coach Chip Kelly told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday night regarding Asomugha. “But as a person, I think he’s outstanding.”
Asomugha may not feel the same way if the Eagles opt to squat on his contract until after the point at which potentially interested teams have addressed their needs elsewhere.