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Jets blow Super Bowl chances by losing out on Asomugha

by | CBSSports.com National Columnist
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Rex Ryan's Jets need an Asomugha-type player to get past the AFC title game. (US Presswire)  
Rex Ryan's Jets need an Asomugha-type player to get past the AFC title game. (US Presswire)  

The New York Jets will have their defenders and those defenders will say this: Nnamdi Asomugha was greedy. He went for the cash instead of a team that might be closer to a Super Bowl. He took the easier way out.

Some of that may be true and the Jets are indeed angry over losing him. The team felt it made a compelling offer to Asomugha and even believed, according to one league source, the two sides had some sort of understanding he was coming to the Jets. Not a deal. Not a contract. But they were led to believe he was on the way to New York.

The Jets offered less money than the Philadelphia Eagles, who eventually snagged Asomugha. But a player that wants to really win, the Jets backers will say, would take less to get a championship.

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All those things will be said, and some are true. There is, however, one indisputable fact: the Eagles were able to find a way to get Asomugha and the Jets didn't. That's all that matters now.

The mouthy, braggart Jets, who never met a microphone they couldn't tongue kiss, the team that is always putting itself in the Super Bowl before, you know, actually getting there, once again couldn't get the big prize.

The Jets had a chance for greatness and an opportunity to finally back all that mouthy chatter by getting a player who could actually put them in the Super Bowl driver's seat and they winced.

Can't wait? Still waiting.

Unlike the big talkers up the Jersey turnpike, the Eagles swooped in carefully and quietly. I don't want to hear from the Jets about salary cap issues. The Jets have a terrific cap Ph.D. (as do the Eagles) and the Eagles have plenty of big-name players and contracts just like the Jets.

Every team has cap issues.

The Philadelphia brain trust of Howie Roseman and Joe Banner got a deal. They made it happen.

"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."

Aren't the Jets supposed to be the wild men?

Many times it's superficial and simplistic to say one player guarantees a Super Bowl. Those types of thoughts are often made by people who wouldn't know a football from a Prius. But in this instance there is some accuracy to the notion that Asomugha likely was the final piece to a Jets Super Bowl. After all, they've been to the conference finals multiple times without him. Adding him would've put an already good defense into an entirely new level.

Instead the Eagles got him. Asomugha is the Eagles' Cliff Lee or the Jaromir Jagr, two huge free-agent catches. Free-agent players like Asomugha come along once every four or five years. For a special player it takes special action and the team that talks a special game, the Jets, fell short.

The Jets had a chance and for the first time in a long time there was the possibility all of the talk would have finally ended and the Jets would make the Super Bowl.

Instead the Jets handed over Asomugha to the Eagles. The Eagles might get the Jets' Super Bowl.

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