Ever since the Eagles became “The Dream Team” and signed Nnamdi Asomugha and traded for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, many have expected the franchise to trade former pro bowl cornerback Asante Samuel to provide cap relief and playing time. In fact, his name has been in trade rumors non-stop since the Nnamdi signing.
But, against many of the foregone conclusions that have hit the hot stove since, no trade has ever materialized with the package Philadelphia is asking for said to be way too high. The rumors have been as high as asking for a player and a 1st round pick to demanding as much as two 1st round picks for him, which can’t be proven, but is laughable nonetheless.
Apparently sick of the distractions and the rumor mill, Samuel is being reported to being okay with taking a cut in pay next season to get a trade done. He is set to make $9.5 million in 2012, would be open to reducing that figure to $7 million according to the Philadelphia Daily News. His agent reiterated that Samuel would consider re-negotiating his contract to make a trade possible, but didn’t give specific dollar figures.
A three-time all pro, Samuel will be 31 next season and is regarded as a still very solid corner, but not worth a) what the Eagles are asking for him and b) not what his contract says he is still owed. With 45 career interceptions on his resume, I have to think that some secondary starved teams out there are willing to negotiate for his services though.
Philly would have to be serious about moving Samuel this time as to avoid the distractions that the team faced in 2011. With many in the locker room unhappy with the moves made and the money spent by the front office, one less disgruntled player would be addition by subtraction.
A team with the biggest interest reported so far is the Tennessee Titans, who are looking to fill the void left by Cortland Finnegan who bailed in free agency to reunite with former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. Tennessee certainly has the cap space after striking out on numerous free agents including Mario Williams, Peyton Manning and Chris Myers.
As far as the asking price, it appears that the aforementioned cost has decreased vastly with the Eagles trying to create cap space and move him for a reported conditional third round pick. However, the Titans beat writer insists that “There’s no way they’d give up a third round pick for him.” So take it for what it is worth.
If a guy like Samuel, who is currently in his final big contract, is willing to take a pay cut to facilitate a trade, I think it’s safe to assume that there is no way he is wearing Philly green in 2012.