UPDATE (6:20 p.m. ET): The Eagles are the surprise destination for Asomugha, swooping in and landing the cornerback, reports NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi. The Eagles confirmed the five-year deal.
UPDATE: (6:13 p.m. ET): Asomugha’s agent told the Dallas Morning News that the Cowboys are now out of the running for Asomugha as well.
UPDATE (5:55 p.m. ET): The Jets are out of the Asomugha sweepstakes, a league source told NFL Network reporter Albert Breer
UPDATE: The Jets have redone the contracts of LB Bart Scott, RB LaDainian Tomlinson, LB Calvin Pace, G Brandone Moore as well as QB Mark Brunnell to set the stage for Asomugha, according to NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi.
Prized free-agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha will choose between signing with the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys, NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi reported Friday.
The New York Jets have been consistently linked to Asomugha, while the Dallas Cowboys are making a late push to add him to their secondary.
The Cowboys would have to release cornerback Terence Newman in order to fit Asomugha under their salary cap, Lombardi reported.
Lombardi said he expects that Asomugha will make a decision by the end of the day Friday.
As recently as Thursday, it was believed that the Texans were the leading candidate to land the services of Asomugha, the three-time Pro Bowl corner who has spent his entire eight-year career with the Oakland Raiders. Asomugha was also connected to the San Francisco 49ers, but on Friday, Lombardi reports, the team began telling people it was no longer involved.
But in a story that is changing by the hour, Asomugha has determined that the Cowboys and Jets give him the best chance to win immediately — something he did not experience often in Oakland — while receiving one of the top cornerback contracts in the league.
Lombardi reported Thursday that Asomugha, widely considered the top player available in free agency, could land a contract in the range of $12 million to $14 million per season from the Texans. That would have made Asomugha the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback, eclipsing the average annual salary of the four-year, $46 million deal that Darrelle Revis signed with the Jets last offseason.
It is widely believed that the Jets would not be able to compete with that kind of offer, but Lombardi suggested that some Jets players — likely offensive linemen Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson and possibly even Revis — could restructure their contracts to make room for Asomugha to join the team.
Other than their pursuit of Asomugha, the Jets have been relatively quiet in a frenzied free-agency period. The Jets been telling free agents they can’t do anything else until Asomugha makes a decision, Lombardi reports.
Earlier this week, Jets passer Mark Sanchez said he was willing to restructure his contract to help the Jets re-sign some of their big-name free agents. On Wednesday, the team agreed to terms with wideout Santonio Holmes on a five-year deal that averages slightly less than $10 million per season with $24 million guaranteed.