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Philadelphia Eagles land top free agent Asomugha

Oakland Raiders Nnamdi Asomugha breaks up a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks Golden Tate during their NFL football game in Oakland
Oakland Raiders Nnamdi Asomugha breaks up a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks Golden Tate during their NFL football game in Oakland

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The Philadelphia Eagles plucked Nnamdi Asomugha from the free agent market on Friday, signing the Pro Bowl cornerback to a five-year contract, the National Football League (NFL) team said.

Considered one of the top free agents available and coveted by several teams, Asomugha spent eight seasons with the Oakland Raiders where he earned the reputation as one of the league's best shutdown cornerbacks.

While Asomugha has recorded just three interceptions in the last four seasons, opposition quarterbacks have rarely challenged the four-time Pro Bowler.

Terms were not announced but, according to local media reports, his deal with Philadelphia is worth $60 million.

"He'll be a great addition to our cornerback corps," Eagles coach Andy Reid told NFL.com. "Right now we have three great cornerbacks...we'll see how things go there."

Suddenly the Eagles own what appears to be one of the NFL's top pass defenses, Asomugha's signing coming one day after Philadelphia acquired another Pro Bowl cornerback, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from the Arizona Cardinals.

With the free agent signing window officially open and camps set to begin on Saturday, the Carolina Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton, the number one overall pick in this year's draft, have agreed to a four-year $22 million deal, according to reports on the NFL Network.

Defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, taken with the third overall pick by the Buffalo Bills, also agreed to a contract on Friday.

"It's crazy," Dareus told Buffalobills.com. "You can't explain it. It's a dream come true.

"You go from one step to the next and to finally get to the point where you sign your name on the dotted line, I couldn't even wait for the ink to dry."

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

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