The Philadelphia Eagles have been the most active team in free agency this year. With the regular season rapidly approaching, could any more moves be on the horizon for Andy Reid and Howie Roseman?
The Eagles have been involved in two trades since the lockout ended; the big one being Kevin Kolb for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick.
They also dealt disappointing DT Brodrick Bunkley originally to the Browns for a fifth-round pick but he ultimately wound up in Denver for an undisclosed 2013 draft pick.
Immediately after the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha, trade speculation went rampant about the future of Asante Samuel. Samuel fueled the speculation after he initially reported to training camp.
When he first showed up at Lehigh, Samuel was his usual smiling and jovial self. Then he had a brief conversation with Howie Roseman and Andy Reid right before he met with the media. His demeanor was noticably different.
Samuel was asked if he felt wanted by the Eagles and he gave answers such as “It’s probably 50-50. So we’ll see how it goes” and “I want to be where I’m wanted.” (Quotes courtesy of CSNPhilly.com)
It seemed quite likely that during that brief conversation, Reid and Roseman told Samuel that he may be traded. Hence the change in demeanor and mood during his interview.
It has been known since then that the Eagles have been fielding calls from other teams about Samuel. In fact, Andy Reid just reiterated this the other day.
When Reid is asked about Samuel, he admits about fielding calls but more interestingly, he gives an answer of “he’s on the team.” Notice how he talks in present tense only?
He doesn’t say he will be on the team or give any affirmations that they 100% intend to keep him. Two years ago Reid gave the same types of answers about Donovan McNabb. He would speak of McNabb only in the present tense. “He’s our quarterback.” etc etc.
Then McNabb was dealt to the Redskins.
Samuel has been back to his old self at training camp; yapping at his offensive counterparts and busting chops. So either he’s been reassured of something (as in staying with the team) or he has come to terms with the possibility of being traded.
Nonetheless, it is still a possibility Samuel gets moved. However, the Eagles have likely put a high price on him. Higher than most teams would want to give up.
My guess is they won’t move him for anything less than a first round pick.
And that’s how they should be thinking at this point in time. Why trade him for anything less? They don’t have to trade him, they’re probably better off if they don’t.
By putting a first round tag on his head, the Eagles are basically saying they still want him and he still has good value. They may not necessarily need him since they now seemingly have a surplus of corners on the team, but they want him.
If some team offers a first rounder though, I think Asante will be out the door.
What’s a more likely trade that involves an Eagles cornerback is the one recently speculated on by Peter King. Reuben Frank tweeted that the Eagles were going to have to let some good players go. King responded saying “I smell Joselio Hanson to Baltimore.”
Obviously Hanson wouldn’t command anywhere near the value Samuel would. But the move would indeed make sense. Heck, I pegged Hanson as a likely candidate to be cut this year.
The Eagles usually keep five cornerbacks on their roster. At times they may keep six depending if they feel they have a player who can go between safety and corner.
We all know who the top three cornerbacks are right now. Third round pick Curtis Marsh is a definite lock for the roster. The team is also said to be high on last year’s fifth round pick Trevard Lindley and have been singing the praises of Brandon Hughes, signed off of the Giants’ practice squad last November.
Hanson is the odd man out. If he is traded, the best the Eagles could hope for would be a 5th or 6th round pick.
In a non-cornerback related move, the Eagles also could still be looking for a middle linebacker. Right now they’re doing a good job of selling Casey Matthews as the starter.
I believe they are still evaluating Matthews and will likely make an ultimate decision after the second preseason game against Pittsburgh. I’m sure they want him to be their guy but they should be feeling a little uneasy since they’re poised to make a big run this year.
In the past the Eagles have made trades, albeit bad ones, for linebackers. The Eagles acquired the likes of Ernie Sims, Alex Hall, and Mark Simoneau via low level deals. But at least they do have a history of trading for players at this position.
If they can swing a deal for a mid-level veteran they like, that could be a possibility. However, don’t expect a “blue chip” player. I also think there is a reason why Kirk Morrison hasn’t signed anywhere yet too.
There could still be a few more moves left for the Eagles. After all, did anyone see the Steve Smith signing coming?
This off-season, just when you think they’re done…BOOM! Another move happens.