The Houston Texans are still seeking some defensive playmakers to complete their secondary – and free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha could be one of them.
It kind of went unnoticed last week that the Texans had shown interest in Asomugha, even though no meetings or rumor talks have kicked off. Four days ago Asomugha was released by the Philadelphia Eagles, and only now has he agreed to visit the New Orleans Saints this weekend to talk over a possible agreement.
If nothing comes from Asomugha’s visit to New Orleans, it’s possible the Texans could be next up to play host. Realistically speaking, Houston will likely wait and see the outcome of Ed Reed’s feelings after visiting the team on Friday – but with that situation looking 50/50 – time ticks on Asomugha, who has also seen interest from the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals.
Somehow, if we find ourselves talking about Asomugha’s trip to Houston in Bob McNair’s jet later this week, the Texans could gain a lot from the 31-year old’s services.
Although Asomugha fizzled last season in Philadelphia, he simply needs to play with a winner. There’s been a lot of talk about Asomugha gaining back his 2006 Oakland Raiders type-confidence, and since he still hasn’t appeared in a playoff game, it’s time to find that swag quickly.
The Texans offer Asomugha that winning atmosphere, and also pose a good match up with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. It was evident last season that Asomugha wasn’t the “dream team” pickup the Eagles had hoped for, as he still struggled to fit in with Philadephia’s fresh zone defense.
But while Asomugha could revive his late career in Houston, the Texans could add a cornerback who can still play physical. Asomugha probably won’t do much for the Texans in terms of rushing the passer, but when it comes to pressing receivers and jamming guys up – he’s still got it. Also, if there’s one last thing Asomugha hasn’t lost, it’s his speed. He showed in Philadelphia he can still keep pace with top wide outs, and managed to play in all 32 games for the Eagles, proving his reliability.
For Asomugha to be successful in Houston, it would require Wade Phillips to keep him in the man press, and away from the zone wherever possible. It would also require a substantial amount of money, somewhere in the $4-5 million ballpark, since he was guaranteed that much this season in Philadelphia.
If worst came to worst, Asomugha could potentially make a shift to safety for the Texans or any other team worth signing him. He’s dabbled at safety a little in the past, even though tackling isn’t his strong point, making it not exactly an ideal landing place.
But for the moment, it’s now on the Saints’ shoulders, since the “serious” talks between Asomugha and the 49ers have cooled off a little. And just like the Texans and Ed Reed, the chances of Asomugha landing in a crowded New Orleans secondary is 50/50, ever since the Saints signed cornerback Keenan Lewis last week to a five-year deal.
The Texans seem intent on signing a veteran presence to assist their own secondary ahead of September, as well as make up for the loss of safety Glover Quin to Detroit. If Reed talks fall over, it’s probably inevitable that Asomugha could be next.
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