When cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha landed in Philly last off-season it appeared to be only a matter of time before Asante Samuel was an ex-Eagle due to his salary.
Samuel, who was scheduled to make $9.9 million with Philly in 2012, was dealt on Wednesday to the Atlanta Falcons for a seventh-round pick.
The deal places Samuel in a secondary with Falcons corners Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes.
Philadelphia’s angle is somewhat puzzling. One would think the Eagles are going to replace Samuel with cheaper labor (i.e. a corner in Thursday’s draft) but why deal him to a team they will possibly see in the playoffs?
The answer (besides money) lies on Asante Samuel’s Wikipedia page.
Samuel is 31.
The Eagles have a history of dropping players north of 30 regardless of their previous achievements (see Dawkins, Brian and McNabb, Donovan).
Philadelphia’s brass believes that the NFL is a young man’s game; and they have dropped a litany of thirty-something players onto the unemployment line over the last decade.
Clearly, when the Eagles trade players of Samuel’s ilk, they look long-term. Samuel’s short-term impact in Atlanta will not outweigh whatever the Eagles do to replace him, at least as the Birds see it.
I hope they are right. Trading a three-time All-Pro to a conference foe for what amounts to a pack of grape Bubble Yum is a gamble.