The decision to trade Asante Samuel to the Atlanta Falcons was met with mixed reaction among Eagles fans.
Some were happy to see him go, tired of his poor tackling, lack of versatility and propensity for avoiding contact.
But many couldn’t understand why the Eagles would let a quality cornerback go for just a seventh-round pick. Did the Eagles know something no one else did?
Samuel obviously hasn’t seen any game action yet with the Falcons, but the Atlanta decision-makers seem to be quite pleased with their new defensive back. Coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitrioff offered up glowing reviews when asked about Samuel recently.
“One of the things I’ve been most impressed in watching him through the years is, he has a great understanding,” Smith told Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com. “Now that we’ve had an opportunity to spend time with him, he’s a very smart football player. He studies the things that defensive backs need to study to get that extra step or get that jump on the ball.”
Dimitrioff added that Samuel has “one of the best sets of anticipatory skills in this league.”
The take here is that the Eagles saw what happened last year with Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The three cornerbacks couldn’t play together. They could have kept Samuel in 2012, but that would have meant benching Rodgers-Cromartie in a contract year. Not exactly the best way to create a happy locker room – something Andy Reid has clearly put an emphasis on this offseason.
As for only getting a seventh-round pick in return, remember that Samuel had to agree to re-negotiate his deal with the Eagles’ trading partner. So he held some control in determining where he went.
Looking ahead to 2012, the Eagles will look to make up for the 23 interceptions Samuel produced during his four-year career here. They finished tied for 17th in takeaways last year with 24.
Samuel will be back in the Linc in Week 8 (Oct. 28) when the Birds host Atlanta. I’m guessing he may have one or two entertaining things to say when that game rolls around.
EAGLES WORK OUT WR
One more note out of practice. The Eagles worked out wide receiver Travis Cobb today. Cobb (5-11, 175) had 26 catches for 290 yards as a senior at Arizona in 2010.
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