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Quick-Hits: Like thieves in the night, the Eagles steal Nnamdi Asomugha

Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (L) breaks up a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate during the first quarter of their NFL football game in Oakland, California October 31, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

In Saturday’s Quick-Hits, the Eagles shock the masses by signing Nnamdi Asomugha, the Phillies get more bang for their prospects than the Giants, and the Bears’ questionable decision regarding Greg Olsen.

- Where did that come from? Just when it looked like free agent Nnamdi Asomugha was headed to New York to team with Darrelle Revis to form the greatest cornerback duo known to man, the Eagles swoop in and pull off a stunner. Asomugha’s deal is for five years at $60 million, which also includes $25 million guaranteed. There were a lot of people who questioned Andy Reid’s decision to make former offensive line coach Juan Castillo the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator, but now it might not matter who’s calling the shots on that side of the ball. After acquiring Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie this offseason, the Eagles shouldn’t have as many problems in the red zone as they did in 2010. NFL.com’s Mike Lombardi reports that Philly is willing to trade Asante Samuel, which would be a mistake in my eyes. The Eagles are legit Super Bowl contenders now. There’s no reason to part with any talent at this pointt.

- One of the reasons I was so conflicted on the Carlos Beltran trade was because of whom the Giants gave up (top prospect Zach Wheeler) in exchange for the former Met. Granted, Beltran is good and there’s no doubt they needed him. But look at what the Phillies just did in acquiring Hunter Pence from Houston. They parted with two good prospects but landed a 28-year-old outfielder that remains under team control through 2013 – not a 34-year-old outfielder who might not be around in three months when he becomes a free agent. I think the Giants deserve credit for “going for it.” But when the Phillies “go for it” by giving up their top prospects, they land Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Pence – players whom they knew were going to be around a while (or thought they knew when it came to Lee, who was traded in order to acquire Halladay). It seems like the front office philosophy of the Giants is to get a player it likes no matter what the cost. Seeing as how they’re currently defending a World Series title, it’s hard to knock said philosophy. But after reviewing the trades that the two teams made this past week, I can’t help but to think the Phillies made the better overall deal.

- The fact that the Bears traded former first round pick Greg Olsen this offseason is hardly surprising. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz doesn’t use tight ends in his passing game, so the fact that Olsen racked up 41 catches last year was pretty impressive. But giving up a young talent just because your offensive coordinator doesn’t have much need for the player’s position is a risky proposition. For starters, what if Martz isn’t around in a year? Then what do the Bears have to show for Olsen besides a third round pick? It cost them a first round pick to draft him in the first place, so GM Jerry Angelo didn’t get good value here. (After all, it’s not like Olsen can’t play and the Bears were looking to get anything in exchange for him.) Granted, that third rounder could turn out to be a Pro Bowler someday (Angelo is good at finding gems in the middle rounds), but presently the deal doesn’t make sense when you get past Martz’s desire to exclude tight ends. Seeing as how he’s a receiver in a tight end’s body, if I were Angelo I would have rather seen my offensive coordinator try to work with Olsen instead of shipping him to Carolina for a third round pick.

- One player that continues to lose money by the hour is free agent defensive end Cullen Jenkins. The former Packer is a solid player, who that is scheme-versatile in that he can play in either a 3-4 or a 4-3. But after the Panthers re-signed Charles Johnson, the Eagles landed Jason Babin, the Patriots acquired Albert Haynesworth, the Cowboys inked Kenyon Coleman and Marcus Spears, and the Falcons got a steal in Ray Edwards, there aren’t a lot of teams that are a fit for Jenkins. Granted, teams always need pass-rushers, but my guess is that Jenkins will wind up back in Green Bay on the cheap.

- The Rams made two moves on Friday that I really liked. The first was signing nasty offensive guard Harvey Dahl away from the Falcons. I keep reading how Sam Bradford will love the addition of Dahl, which is true. But he might not love it as much as running back Steven Jackson. Dahl is an absolute mauler in the run game and brings a much-needed nasty demeanor to St. Louis’ offensive line. The other signing I like was Mike Sims-Walker, who only received a one-year deal because the Rams want to make him prove himself. When healthy and motivated, he’s the big receiver that Bradford sorely needs. But if he winds up being a free agent bust, hey, no problem: he’ll be gone in a year.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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Who’s going overseas?

HoopsHype has a great page that NBA fans should bookmark if they want to keep track of who’s signing where during the NBA’s lockout. Fourteen players have agreed to play overseas so far. Here’s a look:

Ok, so there’s only one big name on that list, but Deron Williams’ deal has sparked more interest amongst the league’s stars. Take a look at the link above to see who may be headed where.

John Wall rocks the Melo Center [video]

Looks like quite the festive environment…

I do like that after the wicked around-the-back/crossover move, he was looking to pass. He’s going to be a good one.

Quick Hits: Bill Belichick only pays half price for his talent

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco gestures to a teammate from the sidelines during the second half of the Bengals’ NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore, Maryland October 11, 2009. REUTERS/Joe Giza (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)

In Friday’s Quick-Hits, I discuss the one big difference between the Redskins and Patriots (besides you know, that whole winning thing), Chris Johnson’s second holdout in as many years, the narrowing race to sign Nnamdi Asomugha, and the reuniting of Roy Williams and Mike Martz. Plus Vince Young, the Bucs and more.

- In the wake of the Patriots acquiring Chad Ochocinco from the Bengals, MMA Blitz writer and fellow TSR contributor Drew Ellis texted me this last night: “Is it just me or are the Patriots turning into the Redskins?” I get his point. The Patriots have never been worried about “name” talent; Bill Belichick just plugs players into his schemes and they win. But besides the obvious differences (like winning), the main reason the Patriots and Redskins are different is because Belichick never pays full price for anything. What did he give up to acquire Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth the last two days? Two fifth round picks and a sixth-rounder? That’s nothing. That’s three special teamers or camp bodies in exchange for a receiver who absolutely loves Belichick and one of the best interior defensive linemen in the game when he’s motivated. On the flip side, the Redskins have paid out the ass for veteran talent and haven’t gotten anything to show for it. As I texted Drew, Belichick doesn’t take a dump in the morning without having a game plan. These moves will pan out – I guarantee it.

- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Titans need to pony up and pay Chris Johnson, who will not report to camp on Friday says beat writer Jim Wyatt. Johnson has been one of the most productive backs in the NFL the past few seasons and he’s only 25. That means he has four or five more productive seasons left in him, so why Tennessee would dick around now is beyond me. They’re going to need this kid when Jake Locker is ready to take over the offense and is looking around for help. And seeing as how Kenny Britt probably won’t be around in another year or two, giving CJ a five-year deal makes a lot of sense.

- The race to sign Nnamdi Asomugha is apparently down to two teams according to NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi. Apparently some players in Dallas (with Tony Romo being one of them) are willing to restructure their deals in order to land the top corner on the market, while the Jets have made some moves in the past 24 hours to help clear cap space. (They released Mark Brunell and waived CB Will Billingsley and G Marlon Davis.) If it’s down to the Cowboys and Jets, I think New York walks away the winner. But I’m also the guy who predicted that he would land with the Bucs so…Dallas it is.

- The Bears have reunited Roy Williams with his former coordinator Mike Martz after signing the receiver to a two-year deal. It’s a nice fit given how productive Williams was under Martz in Detroit. It’s funny though, I have often wondered whether or not Williams could get any slower and the Bears have provided the answer. His speed should transfer real nice onto that dirt patch Chicago calls a field.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young (10) signs autographs for fans after a 24-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals of an NFL pre-season game at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee on August 23, 2010. (UPI Photo/Frederick Breedon IV)

- Vince Young did the right thing signing a one-year deal with the Eagles. There was no market for him as a starter, so he might as well go to a place where the coaching staff is excellent and he can learn from a guy in Michael Vick (who obviously had to do some growing up himself). Besides, Vick always gets hurt once or twice a year so maybe if V.Y. turns in a solid preseason and fills in admirably for Vick, there will be a market for him next offseason.

- Let me get this straight: the Bucs want nothing to do with Nnamdi Asomugha but they hand free agent punter Michael Koenen $19.5 million, with $6.5 million guaranteed? Koenen is one of the best in the league but it’s a little befuddling why Tampa would pony up that much for a punter instead of at least kicking the tires on Asomugha (especially given Aqib Talib’s legal issues). My God, man.

- For the past two years I have wondered why the Saints were so willing to push Reggie Bush out the door. He said he was willing to take a paycut to stay in NOLA, so why not keep the versatile playmaker around as a role player? But the deal they just made for Darren Sproles was solid. The Saints have averaged more yards and points with Bush out of the lineup than with him in it, and they essentially just filled his role with a cheaper option in Sproles. Oh, and New Orleans also received a late-round pick and a 22-year-old special teams ace in Jonathon Amaya for Bush when they sent him to Miami. Nice work this offseason, Mickey Loomis.

- Here’s my off-the-cuff prediction of the day: Osi Umenyiora winds up in Atlanta after the Giants cut him.

Bad blood between Gortat and Lopez?

Orlando Magic center Marcin Gortat of Poland (13) smiles while warming up against the Charlotte Bobcats during their NBA basketball game in Charlotte, North Carolina January 23, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Keane (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Yes, it’s a slow news time in the NBA, but this story is kind of interesting. The “Polish Hammer” is outspoken, and he had a lot to say when asked about Robin Lopez and his arrival in Phoenix.

Marcin said that on his first day in Phoenix he asked Robin if practice started on the court or with a video session. Robin told Marcin that he didn’t know so Gortat went to the gym while Lopez went to watch video. According to Gortat, a coach came to get him and asked why he was late and Marcin said that he had asked Robin and was told he didn’t know where practice was starting. The coach said everyone knew where they were supposed to be. Marcin took that as a sign of where things stood between himself and Lopez.

Gortat went on to talk about the opportunity that Lopez had to earn and keep the starting job.

“This guy (Lopez) had such a big chance, such a big opportunity, to play in the best league. When I was Orlando, playing behind Dwight (Howard), I was praying to get a chance to play and he (Lopez) has had this chance for two years and he didn’t take.

So I thought, when you don’t want it, there will be 50 persons behind you, waiting to take this chance, and then I came by and I took (it). Sorry, that’s business, that’s life.”

After joining the Suns, he averaged 13.0 points (on 56% shooting) to go along with 9.3 rebounds in just under 30 minutes of playing time. It doesn’t appear that he’ll be giving up the starting spot in Phoenix anytime soon.

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