It looks like the Eagles are definitely going to move Asante Samuel before the draft. The latest news is that they’ll accept a fifth or sixth round pick for everyone’s favorite ballhawk, and that the Broncos are interested. Not to mention the Titans and Lions. And Samuel has said he’d restructure his deal to facilitate a trade, so it all seems imminent.
But even if they decide keep him, Asante is over 30 and when he loses his burst he’s useless. For a team that stands on the precipice of moving on from the Reid and Vick era and should be in win-now mode, trading a major contributor like Asante Samuel doesn’t make a ton of sense, despite the trouble they’re having putting together a defensive scheme. Right or wrong, there’s too much smoke to believe the Eagles aren’t determined to fire up a Samuel trade. He should be gone within a week.
And so how do the Eagles cornerback situation look then? Nnamdi Asomugha was a disappointment (if misused) last year and is himself on the wrong side of 30. It’s possibly and even probable that he won’t be able to play at en elite level (if he can actually get there again) for maybe more than a couple years.
Then there’s Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie, Asante’s heir-presumptive on the outside. DRC may have elite speed but he’s never established himself as great and there’s a reason he was available from the Cardinals. Plus he’s a free agent after the 2012 season.
Beyond that is Joselio Hanson, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes and Trevard Lindley. Scary stuff.
The Eagles have always been a draft forward team. A win now pick would seem to be a defensive tackle or linebacker, but it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see them take a corner early. Dre Kirkpatrick and Stephen Gilmore will both likely be there at 15 and are talented enough to challenge Hanson out of the gate for the nickel spot and who could even step in and start if DRC falters or gets hurt (again).
And since the team no longer puts weight into character issues, the talented but troubled Janoris Jenkins could be an option.
So while everyone is clamoring for defense, it’s possible we get what we want without getting what we’re expecting. Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown say hi.
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