First of all, I just have to say, the Eagles signing of Nnamdi Asomugha is, well…how can I put it…UNFRIGGINBELIEVABLE! That news came as a complete shocker and has me just as excited, if not more-so, than in 2004 when they signed Jevon Kearse and traded for Terrell Owens.
Can you believe the Eagles signed Nnamdi the day after trading for DRC? Wow…just WOW! Stunning to say the least! The Phillies have their four aces, now the Eagles have three of their own!
Ok, now that I have that off my chest and my head is clearing a little bit from the euphoria of the past two days; what does the signing of Asomugha mean for a player like Asante Samuel?
Will the Eagles have their three aces for very long?
Let’s take a few things into consideration here:
The Eagles now have three pro bowl cornerbacks on the roster. Teams rarely ever have two, let alone three. Both Samuel and DRC are left side corners by nature and Nnamdi mostly played on the right side in Oakland (though he mixed up because he shadowed opposing teams’ best receiver).
Andy Reid stated just one day before signing Nnamdi that DRC would be the RCB. Though he’s made affirmations before only to change his mind shortly thereafter, such as the whole Kolb is the starter, Vick is the starter episode.
And look at that, while writing this article Reid just stated that Nnamdi will play RCB. So that leaves DRC and Samuel for the LCB spot.
While it is true that these days defenses have three corners on the field over 50% of the time, which one of these guys would be the one willing to be the “third corner”?
If we established a pecking order, DRC would have to take that role. Would he be okay with that? Apparently he would be according to Les Bowen’s tweet during today’s media session.
DRC would have to be okay with it because there is no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks that Samuel will be amenable to being the third corner. Cornerbacks, just like many wide receivers, have a huge ego. They have to in order to play the position they do.
A report from Jeff McLane came out today saying “Asante doesn’t want a trade“. But nowhere in this article is an actual quote from Samuel stating he does not want to be traded. In fact, the article quotes his agent as saying:
“He’s not worried about being traded in terms of his productivity,” Shavers said. “If it happens, it happens.”
Samuel’s agent does state that the Eagles have not informed them that he would be traded. But that doesn’t mean anything since the Eagles are known to do things without notice.
The article also states that a league source says the Eagles plan to keep all three players but a “great” trade offer could change their mind.
Simply put, this town is just not big enough to handle the egos of all three players. DRC said the “right things” about being willing to accept whatever role the Eagles want him to fulfill. But what else would you expect him to say when he’s put on the spot by the media in a brand new town?
I still have to think Samuel will ultimately be traded.
So, who would be a potential trade partner and what could we be looking for in return for a player of his stature?
By my count, the 49ers, Jets, Cowboys, Raiders, and Seahawks were all rumored to be interested in at least one of the free agent cornerbacks available this offseason. There are still a few corners on the market such as Carlos Rogers and Antonio Cromartie.
With the way the Eagles are going, it is highly likely that they’ll be looking for a player in return for Samuel rather than a draft pick. The Eagles still have a need at linebacker but could also look for a running back (based on their interest in Bush and Sproles) or a defensive tackle.
Since the Cowboys and Jets were the two teams believed to be the most heavily interested in Nnamdi, let’s take a look at what they have to offer first.
Cowboys: After scanning their roster, the only player that would make sense (on both sides) is inside linebacker Bradie James. He’s 30 years old and has been consistently productive over his career with the ‘girls.
He played in a 4-3 defense in college and it’s an easier transition for an ILB in a 3-4 to transition to a linebacker in a 4-3 (as compared to “edge rushers”).
However, can’t say I’d be crazy about this move unless Dallas threw in a third round draft pick.
Jets: There are already some rumors out there that this may be the most likely trade partner for Samuel even though there is still a decent chance they bring back Cromartie.
But since we’re just speculating here, my ideal scenario would be to get LB David Harris. He was franchise tagged and has yet to work out a long term deal. The man is a tackling machine and has the ability to get to the QB.
However, he is said to love playing in New York and for head coach Rex Ryan so I’m sure this is a long shot. There isn’t much else on their roster of interest so the most likely compensation from this team would be a draft pick.
49ers: Patrick Willis! Just kidding. After looking at their roster, there isn’t much of interest that would make sense either. The only player I could see the Eagles being interested in would be Ted Ginn. His value would be mainly as a return man where he has shown good ability.
Seahawks: There are two players on this team that I could foresee the Eagles being interested in: LB Lofa Tatupu and RB Leon Washington. Both have the style and traits they typically look for in players.
Raiders: The only player on their roster of interest is DT Tommy Kelly. He’s 30 years old and coming off his best season as a pro where he recorded seven sacks. He has good size at 6′ 6″ 300 lbs and could be a good fit with Jim Washburn.
Al Davis is always a crazy wildcard in any situation so you just never know with him. If he wasn’t interested in trading a player for Samuel I could see him offering up a first round draft pick (which would be “overpaying”).
I’m sure there are other teams in need of a cornerback so you never know who could come out of the woodwork (ala the Eagles for Nnamdi) and make a deal. But I have to think the deal would involve a good, starting caliber player at a position the Eagles could use an upgrade.
I have to admit though, the thought of just keeping Samuel is enticing. As a matter of fact, it’s what I prefer. So let me be clear here: I think the Eagles will trade Samuel but I don’t actually want them to.
And maybe they won’t. That would be excellent. But who will be surprised to see a report come out sometime over the next week announcing that Samuel has been traded? Not me.
With all of this random speculation I’ll leave you with one last completely random thought on a trade that would be the cherry on top of this whipped cream offseason:
Trade Samuel back to New England for Albert Haynesworth and a draft pick. Just imagine how dominating our defense would be with Nnamdi, DRC, Babin, Cole, Bunkley, and Haynesworth (not to mention the rest of the young guys).
Bill Belichick just stated today that Haynesworth “is not ready to practice yet” but gave no indication as to why. He continued to say it’s not salary or physical related. Hmmmmm….
That would be insanely incredible.