After a string of trades in recent years that, in hindsight, clearly favored the Eagles, it’ll be hard to ever say that they got the better of their latest deal.
The Eagles and Falcons have each announced the transaction that sent cornerback Asante Samuel to Atlanta. The Falcons describe the compensation as an “undisclosed” draft pick. The Eagles freely admit they’ll be getting only a seventh-round selection.
Samuel joined the Eagles on the first day of free agency in 2008, after starting his career with the Patriots. Rendered less relevant in 2011 via the acquisition of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Eagles kept Samuel around because he had an affordable salary and a relatively low cap number.
That changed in 2012, with both numbers jumping into eight figures.
From the Eagles’ perspective, a seventh-round pick is still a win. If they hadn’t been able to trade Samuel, they undoubtedly would have released him.
The Falcons were nevertheless happy to give up the draft pick. “We just improved our team today,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “Asante Samuel is a good football player and you can never have enough good players on your team. Our game has become more of a passing game, and you have to have the players who can neutralize how offenses are trying to attack you.”
“We wish Asante Samuel all the best as he heads into the next chapter of his career in Atlanta,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “He has been a very productive member of the Eagles for the past four years and we appreciate all that he has done for our organization. We obviously feel good about our cornerback situation moving forward with Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as our starters. Those two played very well together in the latter part of the season and we anticipate that will continue as we head into the 2012 season.”
Samuel had clamored for a trade from time to time over the past several months. The Eagles likely could have gotten more if they’d done the deal last season.
They definitely couldn’t have gotten less.