Could Asante Samuel Be Part of a Draft-Day Trade?

Written By Bob Cunningham On Sunday, April 11, 2010

This relationship appears to be dissolving rapidly.

With all the turnover the Eagles' roster has been seeing this past offseason, it shouldn't be a surprise if anyone over the age of 24 is traded or cut as we move closer to the start of the season.

But there's one name that has been coming up sporadically in trade talks that I would have never expected: Asante Samuel. The All-Pro cornerback doesn't seem to be on the same page as head coach Andy Reid or defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, and could wind up talking his way right out of Philly.

As you'll recall, Reid and Samuel got into a mini war of words recently, and while it doesn't seem like much on the surface, it could be the boiling point of something that's been going on in the locker room since day one.

"I think Asante knows he needs to have a better year than what he had, even though he was a Pro Bowler," Reid told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "As good a player as he is, he can be even better," Reid said. "And I think that's the way he's handling the offseason."

Reid made those remarks after Samuel failed to show up for some voluntary workouts. A couple days later, Samuel had something of his own to say.

"The whole team needs to improve from the front office, to the head coach to the players," Samuel told's Derrick Gunn.

So clearly, as I said earlier, these guys are not on the same page.

Then, on 610WIP on Saturday, Sheldon Brown (now of the Cleveland Browns) had something to say about some unnamed players, or perhaps one specific individual as my colleague Garry Cobb believes.

"I just think, we as a defense in Philadelphia, you just have to believe in what coach [Sean] McDermott preaches and follow the plan," Brown told Howard Eskin and Ike Reese. "You know, sometimes I look back at last year, the season, I feel that we had some players that really was questioning some of the things that were being done."

"And [we] never had that situation since I’ve been there," Brown continued. "And first and foremost, you have to believe in the system, believe in the plan, or you lose before you even go out there. And if the guys can remember to do that, stick together, they’ll be fine."

Apparently, if Cobb is accurate in his assumption, Brown believes that Samuel's presence in the locker room created a distraction and that, for as good as Samuel can be, his unwillingness to play within the scheme consistently hurt the defense.

That, my friends, is something Reid will have none of. Ever since the infamous story about making the lineman push the sled up and down the field, and then cutting him, Reid has had a reputation for dumping players who don't buy into his system.

Reid doesn't rarely call players out in public, so it shows you how he's feeling about Samuel if he's willing to do so with him. And then the fact that Samuel felt the need to passive-aggressively respond might show a glimpse of the player/person he is.

Samuel's got a big contract, but he's definitely worth it to a team that will allow him to do what he does best. Outside of his unwillingness to tackle (which Deion Sanders would call a "business decision"), Samuel is a very good corner who would certainly garner interest in the open market.

Depending on how far the Eagles want to move up in the first round, we could see Samuel get traded very early on draft day. That will depend on what a team is asking for, if the Eagles want to move up at all, and if they feel like they can replace him.

Who knows, they could be moving up to take his replacement.

Ever since Donovan McNabb was traded, of all places, to the Washington Redskins, nothing will surprise me anymore. Seeing Samuel get moved on draft-day, or perhaps to a team the week after the draft that feels like they still have holes in their secondary, would not even make me blink twice at this point.

It's a youth movement in Philadelphia, but it's more about getting players who will buy into the system, regardless of age.

Reid has shown he's not afraid to make the tough call, so if Samuel doesn't hop on board very quickly he could find himself shipped elsewhere sooner rather than later.

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