The recruiting began at the Pro Bowl. By March, it was a no-brainer. The NFL’s No. 1 free agent wanted to become a Philadelphia Eagle.
“To a man, and woman, everybody that was on my team, they knew that the No. 1 team was the Eagles from March when we were looking at teams,” Nnamdi Asomugha said. “There were a handful of teams at that point. When the Eagles became a possibility, we knew it was a match.”
Asomugha said quarterback Michael Vick did a “mini-recruiting pitch” at last year’s Pro Bowl. DeSean Jackson kept it going with texts and phone calls throughout the offseason.
“When a team wants you, you can feel it,” Asomugha said.
The Eagles did want Asomugha, who signed a five-year, $60 million deal with $25 million guaranteed. While Asomugha can’t practice until Thursday, when the league year begins, he showed up at Lehigh yesterday and spoke glowingly of his new bosses.
“I think from top to bottom in the organization, it’s first-class, with the head coach, president, GM, owner, all the way down to the players,” he said. “It has a championship feel to it.”
That’s a new feeling for the 30-year-old cornerback. He’s never sniffed the postseason while playing in Oakland for the past eight seasons. Asomugha said he wouldn’t even watch the NFL playoffs.
“It was depressing,” Asomugha said.
The Eagles have qualified for the playoffs nine times under coach Andy Reid, but they haven’t been able to win the big one. This year, with the bold additions of Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Reid’s team might want to book a few rooms in Indianapolis.
“The No. 1 goal when you come into this league is to win the championship,” Asomugha said. “You hear every team say it every year, you know, ‘We want to win the Super Bowl, that’s our goal.’ It’s the only reason you play.”