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Brown and Samuel Available For Trade

Starting Corners on Market?
By Lance Epstein

Just when fans thought the Eagles off-season could not take anymore twist and turns, it does. According to Profootballtalk.com's Mike Florio, both starting Eagles cornerbacks Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown could be had in a McNabb package or in separate deals.

Of course this news stems from the fact that neither player showed up for the non-manditory off-season conditioning program yesterday in Philadelphia.

The trade rumor involving Brown should not come as any surprise to anyone. Earlier this off-season, I reported that he could be on his way out. Brown is on the wrong side of 30, is disgruntled over his contract and has shown a propensity to get beat deep during the playoffs and down the stretch over the last two seasons. Furthermore, this was his first year with an injury but might be the start of his deterioration process.

Granted, if the Eagles could get a second or third round pick, expect them to move Brown. He is 31 and he is still believed to be asking for a new contract or to be traded behind the scenes.

Ultimately, while it would not be shocking if he is traded, I do not see him being moved due to teams are unwilling giving up a high draft pick (my guess a fourth). Since his contract is low and he has showed his willingness to play for the team even with contract issues, he is probably back unless the Eagles get a great offer.

As for Samuel, may be the offer of McNabb and Samuel to the Oakland Raiders for corner Nmandi Asomugha (add other picks or player) was true. It was reported that the Eagles were disappointed in Samuel's unwillingness to help in run support or tackle on screen passes. Additionally, Samuel began tuning out defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.

Also, Samuel's number from last year appear to be good on the surface but there is more than meets the eye. While he had an impressive nine interceptions, he got beat plenty of times as well. In addition, in the five games against playoff teams, Samuel did not record a single interception.

So what would the market value be for a corner that is still thought of as a top five corner in the league? Well, Samuel is going to be 29 and is not a physical shut down corner. Most fans would only trade him if the Eagles got a first round pick in return. However, I think the Eagles would be willing to deal him for a high second rounder like they said set for McNabb.

The 2010 draft is one of the best and deepest drafts in years; especially at the cornerback position. It could be that the Eagles are looking to totally revamp their secondary, which is the oldest spot on the roster. The secondary includes three starters (Brown, Samuel and Quinton Mikell) at 30 or going to enter their 30's next season.

The Eagles could trade Samuel and find his replacement at 24 in corners Kyle Wilson or Devin McCourty. Or they could take Patrick Robinson, a physical man-to-man corner with size or underrated man-to-man corner in Alabama's Kareem Jackson with the second rounder they could receive by trading Samuel .

While the report from PFT.com says the Eagles are willing to part with both players, there is no way they dump both in one off-season unless the Eagles are in total rebuilding mode (could be with Kevin Kolb at the helm). If both leave, expect the Eagles to definitely use their first-rounder on a corner and most likely their second-rounder as well.

When the Eagles hired GM Howie Roseman, he wanted to be aggressive. If McNabb, Brown and Samuel all go, he definitely would have been aggressive and would have lead the Eagles into a new era.

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