Like clockwork, the Philadelphia Eagles are trying to wheel and deal the week before the NFL Draft — this time using former Pro-Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel as trade bait.
The rumors were flying from Detroit to Tennessee a few weeks ago in possible landing spots for Samuel, but no deal ever ended up materializing. This has been the case surrounding Samuel since the beginning of last season when Philly signed Nnamdi Asomugha and traded for Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, and with enough rumors to sink a ship, Asante has managed to hang around. I don’t expect that to be the case much longer.
Interestingly enough, despite making strong worded comments towards team management at the end of last season, Samuel still made an appearance at the Eagles voluntary team workouts. Whether that is a sign of good faith towards the organization or he just really wants to get back into football-shape, it’s still a nice surprise. Will it be enough to save his career in Philadelphia? Not a chance.
If nothing else, the major appeal to trading away Samuel is because of his hefty $9.9 millon salary due this season. That’s a steep price to pay for a 30+ corner that has slowly been declining in his pass coverage skills and has zero tackling ability. At least, it is when Philadelphia has Asomugha and Rogers-Cromartie flanking him on the depth chart.
At this point, the Eagles aren’t looking for anything other than draft picks for Samuel. And if I had to put an honest guess out there for his value — I’d say a second-rounder if the Eagles are lucky, and more realistically a third-rounder. His contract is a killer, and his age is another dagger to his value on the trade market.
If Samuel would be willing to restructure his contract and take a massive pay cut, the Eagles would probably be more than happy to keep him. But, I don’t see Samuel sacrificing his pay to stay in Philly.
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