All day long in our live, updating Free Agency Experience, everyone wanted to know whether Nnamdi Asomugha was going to the Jets or the Cowboys.
The answer? Neither, because he's headed to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The team announced the deal shortly after 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday and Nnamdi has signed a five-year, $60 million deal with $25 million guaranteed that no one saw coming.
"Howie and Joe worked their tail off and put together this phenomenal plan," Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said. "They came out of the gates like wild men and attacked the issue. Neither one of them has had much sleep. But they've rewarded our football team and the city of Philadelphia with some great players."
It's an absolute slam dunk for Philadelphia, a team that never looked like they were truly in the running for Asomugha, and it makes Nnamdi the richest cornerback in the NFL.
"He's one of the best - if not the best - cornerback in the National Football League," Reid said. "He'll be a great addition to our cornerback corps. Right now."
What makes this one of the more bizarre and suspenseful free-agent signings in the history of the NFL is that all day long, the Jets and Cowboys were leading the chase for Asomugha. But shortly before six-o-clock, Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported that the Jets were out of the running for Nnamdi. A few moments later Manish Mehta of the New York Post confirmed that report.
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One obvious "problem" for the Eagles is that they're suddenly loaded with top-flight cornerbacks, with Asante Samuel already on the roster and having just recently acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from the Cardinals in the infamous Kevin Kolb trade.
"We have three good cornerbacks," Reid said. "It reminds me a little bit of when we had (Pro Bowl cornerbacks) Al (Harris), Troy (Vincent) and Bobby Taylor."
There's been some speculation about whether or not Samuel will be actually be a part of the team's plans going forward, considering that he wasn't at camp on Friday.
"That's a personal excused absence that Asante's dealing with," Roseman said.
He also pointed out that having a surplus of cornerbacks isn't necessarily a bad thing.
"It's always been a priority position for us," Roseman said. "Corners, pass rushers, and we felt like last year, we were in a situation where maybe we got a little short-handed, and we thought it was a place that we wanted to go heavy and have a lot of talent at.
"You can never have enough cover corners. That helps your pass rush and when you have an opportunity to add the players we added, we just thought we had to add those guys."
So it meant, obviously, that the Cowboys were wrapping up a deal to land Nnamdi, right? Wrong -- Clarence Hill, Jr of the Dallas Star-Telegram reported that Dallas was out of the running for Nnamdi too, citing a text message from Asomugha's agent.
"The Cowboys are not in the Nnamdi sweepstakes," Asomugha's agent Ben Dogra said in a text message to Hill on Friday.
Adam Schefter then reported that the Eagles backdoored the entire NFL and -- poof! -- just like that, everything we knew about how the Nnamdi sweepstakes went down changed entirely.
Jerry Jones not only got beat for the biggest free agent on the market in 2011, but he got beat by a division rival and a team that is absolutely one of the primary favorites to win the Super Bowl given their defensive improvements and offensive explosiveness.
It was a wild, wild ride all week long leading up to the final announcement at 6 p.m., too. At one point, the Texans were reportedly in the lead for Asomugha, but they bailed on getting too involved in the chase to pick up Johnathan Joseph.
Then it appeared to be the Cowboys and Jets all the way up until late on Friday (Jerry Jones later said that the Cowboys were indeed "close"). But somehow, the Eagles played everyone -- and I mean everyone -- for suckers all the way up until the end, when they swooped in, landed Nnamdi and cranked up their chances at hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
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