Philadelphia Eagles News

General Manager Howie Roseman

General Manager Howie Roseman

On whether CB Asante Samuel will remain with the Eagles: "We think we have a great situation right now, and we're excited to add Nnamdi and DRC [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie]. We'll go from there."

On which player will play when the defense is in the nickel:"Those are all good problems to have. We're excited about our team and the players that we have added, and to get them out here."

On whether there is a roster move pending after signing Asomugha:"I think Andy said we've had that before, and we've spent a lot of time on making this move. There hasn't been a lot of time for other things and we've been pretty busy. We're excited about making this move, and all those questions are for another day."

On whether the Eagles will start the season with Samuel, Rodgers-Cromartie, and Asomugha:"We're excited to get Nnamdi, and we thought it was a great opportunity for our football team. One we had to explore. That's why we made that move. "

*On whether the move is related to Samuel's absence from training camp: *"No. That's a personal, excused absence that Asante is dealing with."

On whether defensive coordinator Juan Castillo's schemes rely heavily on corners:"It's always been a priority position for us, corners and pass rushers on defense. We felt that last year we were in a situation where we got a little shorthanded, and we thought it was a place we wanted to go heavy and have a lot of talent at because you can never have enough cover corners. That helps your pass rush, and when you have an opportunity to add the players we have, we thought we just had to have those guys.

On who will play left CB if Rodgers-Cromartie plays on the other side:"We'll figure all that out. Obviously things have been fluid here, and Andy and I haven't had a chance to sit down with a new depth chart to see all these things. Really, we spent a lot of time trying to get these guys going. It's a great credit to Joe Banner. [General Counsel] Aileen Daly helped out a lot. It was a total team effort in dealing with this and all these agents who did a great job getting their players to Philadelphia."

On whether Rodgers-Cromartie will start at right CB:"We had the opportunity to add Nnamdi. We are excited to about adding Nnamdi, and we haven't figured out the specifics other than getting him. This wasn't a situation where we knew what was going on until the last minute, and we're excited to add a talent like him."

On how long the ongoing talks with Asomugha and his agent were:"I think we were probably involved in talks with his agent about other players and kind of in constant communication about all options. It's always been a philosophy of ours to make sure that we evaluate all of our options and see. In the past few days, a lot of things have come up and we are fortunate to have had the time to explore all those options in the past month. In evaluating the players, our scouting department did a great job preparing for this. When these scenarios came up, maybe some that we hadn't already anticipated, we were ready to strike."

On whether the Eagles were on the radar for Asomugha the entire time:"Very late. It was a process that took a lot of time to figure out. To give credit to Nnamdi, he wanted to be in Philadelphia. We love to have him here."

On whether Samuel's absence could go into the regular season:"Asante's absence is a personal situation that he's dealing with. He's excused, and has been in communication with all of us. We wish him the best."

On whether Samuel is healthy:"Yes, he's healthy."   

On whether he was confident the team could land the free agents they wanted:"Well you're never that confident until it actually happens. So the opportunity was presented to us and fortunately we were in a position to strike and be aggressive and acquire these players. So we're really excited about it."

On whether he has contacted Samuel since the trade:"Yeah, we'll keep all of those matters private in terms of our players."

On whether he feels an obligation to contact Samuel:"We're in constant communication with Asante."

On whether there have been any updates about Vince Young and whether the team is still negotiating with him:"No. Vince was just on the waiver wire this afternoon and quite honestly we haven't had a chance to evaluate the waiver wire and the players that are on it."

On whether he senses this is the year to attack and go after the Super Bowl:"Well, I think every year we're trying to win a World Championship and position ourselves great to have that run in the year that we're in and at the same time protect the future. And we acquired a second round draft pick and we have an extra fourth round pick, three sixth round picks in this draft. So at some point here we'll get on to the college draft and everything that comes along with it, and I think we're positioned for the future as well."

On whether he feels Asomugha pursued the Eagles:"He's a great player and we've always had an interest in Nnamdi. He's never really had this opportunity to hit the free agent market because of the kind of player he was, Oakland really didn't give him that option. And when we found out that there was potentially an opportunity for us to get him and that he really wanted to be here we just thought that it was a situation that we had to explore."

On what makes Asomugha such a great player:"Well he's got great size. He's got great speed. He's very physical. He's an instinctive guy. He can play different coverages. I mean primarily in Oakland they press, but he can play off. And he's a great character guy; he wants to win, he has a will to win and that's one of the reasons he's here is because he thinks that we have a great chance to win. So you put all that together and it's quite a package."

On whether he thinks Asomugha was more interested in going somewhere where he had a chance to win than somewhere for the money:"We did. I think that his priority was to go to a place where he was going to compete for a World Championship and I think that's why we had a shot there. We have a good team and we're looking forward to the season."

On whether he brought in Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie because Castillo wants to get back to a former defensive coordinator Jim Johnson style defense:"Well I think these guys can do any sort of coverage Juan wants and Juan's a flexible guy and he's going to play to the strengths of our players. And for us, when we evaluated these players we thought that they were really good players. And that's our job to add good players to our team and I think we did that today."

On whether it makes him feel better knowing the Eagles got Asomugha and the Cowboys did not:"You know, we really don't have time to think about what anybody else is doing. Someone today asked me who I thought was doing really well in free agency based on reports and I said, "I wish someone would give me a list of what everybody's done." So we're just concentrating on the Philadelphia Eagles and improving our team. So hopefully we're doing a good job there."

On what makes Asomugha different from the other free agents over 30 years of age:"I think Nnamdi's a special player and all of the talents that we just talked about there. And I'd be remised if I didn't thank the support of our ownership, and they've been with us right throughout this process and excited about the things here, and excited about this particular player as well as the other players we've brought in."

On the team's interest level in Young:"We have to go back and evaluate everything else. Again, this is like after day one of the draft you go back and evaluate where you are; we did a lot of stuff here. It's been a busy couple of days. We've spent a lot of late nights on the phone and we got some good players."

*On when he knew they had gotten Asomugha: *"Today, this afternoon at some point, here, and we're very excited about it."

On whether he was following all of the reports of other teams' interest in Asomugha:"We were really in constant communication with his representatives and Ben deserves a lot of credit here for helping and doing this deal, and he did a great job and he really was a pleasure to work with in getting Nnamdi to Philadelphia."

On how he plans to pay for WR DeSean Jackson, QB Michael Vick and Asomugha without making a move and getting under the cap:"Well right now we have to be under the cap and we are under the cap and obviously we look at these moves and look at our cap situation and plan and prepare. And we have some players on this team that we want to keep here and at some point we'll obviously go and evaluate those situations."

On whether a player with Young's status had to clear waivers or whether it was a straight release:"Well what it is is when a player's terminated the league sends a waiver wire, and when you receive the waiver wire you're allowed to contact the player."

On whether Asomugha has to wait to practice:"Yes, the only player on this list that we've acquired in the past few days is Dominique. He can practice with us because he was acquired in a trade."

On whether the other guys can participate in meetings:"They can. And just one thing on Johnnie Lee Higgins, he's also a returner, a punt returner, and that was another reason we brought him in."

On whether Asomugha, Rodgers-Cromartie or Samuel can play safety:"You know, we haven't really gone there."

On whether Higgins or Rodgers-Cromartie can return kicks:"Johnnie Lee Higgins can return kicks. Dominique we are not looking at as a returner."

On whether the plan is to not have Jackson return punts:"Well, you know, I think DeSean would return punts; that's up to coach and DeSean and how they figure it out. Obviously he's an explosive returner and you don't want to take that away. But we wanted to give ourselves some more options here on the return game and Johnnie Lee can do both."

On whether he would have needed to reevaluate things had they not been able to land Asomugha:"Well I think we were constantly evaluating things, that's why we didn't get a lot of sleep the past couple of days. But we've done that and I think we're in pretty good position and we have to sit back here at some point, hopefully tonight, I don't know if it will happen tonight, and kind of look where we're at and our next mode of attack."

*On when he affirmed commitment that Asomugha had agreed on a deal: *"Probably in the last few hours here."

On DE Jason Babin:"We're really excited to get Jason here.  He fits exactly what we're looking for in our defensive ends.  He had a great season last year.  He's a guy we're really familiar with.  We know how he's going to fit in.  He's just a player we're really excited to have."

*On why Babin was targeted over other free agent defensive ends: *"We thought he was a perfect fit for us.  We know he's played in Philadelphia.  He knows what a passionate city this is, and he's a passionate player.  He's played for [Head] Coach [Andy] Reid, he's played for [Defensive Line] Coach [Jim] Washburn, he knows [Defensive Coordinator] Juan [Castillo].  It was just a great fit for both of us I think."

On his philosophy on investing so much money in one position:"I think that you're going to have to go light in certain other areas.  In the system that we're in, if you go heavy in one area than obviously it comes out of another.  We have a limited amount of resources, whether its draft picks or money under the cap.  In this situation, obviously, you figure if you're going to go heavy in some area, than in some other area you may go young with draft picks."

On whether the salary cap floor factored into today's transactions:"No, we've always aggressively spent not only in the free-agent market, but on our own players.  With the cap, we've always been up there among the league leaders in doing that, and that's because of the great support of ownership.  I'm very fortunate to be in the situation I'm in, being the General Manager of a team with that kind of support."

On whether the third corner is considered a starter given the league's tendency to throw often, and if that influenced today's transactions:"We do consider the third corner a starter.  This is a passing league.  We think it's important to be able to defend the pass and pressure the quarterback.  When you have cover players and pass rushers, and we added a couple of those today and yesterday, I think that helps you do that."

On whether he thinks WR DeSean Jackson's contract situation can still be resolved:"We're going to keep all our contract matters internal and we'll go from there."

*On whether or not the Eagles have closed the gap on the Packers: *"I think our job is to get the most talented players and build the best 90 man roster, narrow it down to 53, and hopefully stay healthy.  Then go out there and compete for a world championship."

On whether the Eagles are a Super Bowl caliber team on paper:"I think so, I think it is."

On whether the Eagles need three good corners to play the Packers:"They have a lot of receivers.  When you play Green Bay [Packers] they just keep coming.  They come off the bench, they come from the stands, they're all over.  That's a team that just won a world championship.  Obviously they beat us in the playoffs.  When we're making a lot of these moves we like to look how we stack up against them."

*On whether the youthful core of linebackers will start opening day: *"We're still exploring all of our options at all of these positions.  We're really excited about our linebacker group and the guys that we've drafted here in the past couple of years."

On whether a second wave of free agent signings is expected in the NFL:"Well there are so many players, and it's happened so quickly, and teams are starting to open camp.  There are still so many players that haven't been assigned to teams that players are going to have to pick teams at some point and get to training camp.  There are still a lot of players out there.  There will be a second rush of players."

On the 90-player limit and if the Eagles are attempting to reach it soon: *"I have a roster that I meant to look at right here.  I think that we're pretty high up there.  We have a good number of players under contract right now.  I'll get you the exact number." * * *On whether the Eagles are done making moves for the night:"That's a good question. I don't know. For you guys, we'll be good."

*On whether he thought that it would take this long to sign Asomugha: *"Technically free agency just started. It's complicated. All of this is complicated and rushed into a three day period. We just started the league year and had to sign draft picks and build our team. Everyone is in the same situation and there are a lot of players out there, both rookies and veteran free agents. It's a complicated time period, but it's a lot of fun. It's been a lot of fun. We're having a lot of fun."

On how close the Eagles are to being done:"Let us regroup for a little bit and I'll get back to you on that question."

On how close the Eagles are to signing first round draft pick G Danny Watkins:"I think we're going to handle the contract talks with Danny internally. We're here to get him here, get him to camp, and get him on the field."

On how proud he is that the Eagles were able to stay under the radar on Asomugha:"I think it's a great testament to not only our relationship with CAA and Ben [Dogra, Asomugha's agent], but the people in the loop. It's been a lot of fun. When you put on ESPN at 6:00 p.m. and they're still trying to figure out where he is. He's a big-time player, and it's exciting. We had a lot of fun today and the past few days." 

On the possibility of trading Samuel:"We've never been shy about exploring our options, whether it is free agents or in the draft. We're really excited about our team and we'll go from there."

*On when Samuel will come to camp: *"I can get back to you on that. I don't know at this point."

Closing statement:"I just wanted to personally apologize to [FB] Leonard Weaver and [DT] Jeff Owens. I did leave both of them messages but I wasn't personally able to reach them. That's my responsibility. I'm sorry about that. I had a lot of things going on, but that's no excuse. I left them messages saying the same."

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