The Eagles jumped right in on Friday’s free agency when they signed the biggest name on the first day. Asante Samuel is a great CB who can press, play off coverage, blitz, and most of all make big plays. Samuel’s biggest strengths are being able to drop back and get in and out of his breaks while keeping an eye on the quarterback. This allows him to make big jumps on passes and create turnovers. He also is a very smart cornerback. He reads routes well and understands offensive concepts so he can see one route develop and know the complimentary route that goes along with it. To sum it up Asante is smart and aggressive which should bode well in Double J’s style of defense.
Chris Clemons’ signing was made out to be a bigger deal then it really is. Clemons is way too small to be an every down DE. At 245 lbs he will see time on 3rd and long and other obvious passing situations. In my opinion he may see about 10 snaps a game. In those 10 snaps this high motor DE can create serious havoc with Trent Cole and maybe another DE (Howard, Abiamiri, etc) moving to DT on those plays. This guy is a role player, which we all know have importance, but he is not the answer to finding a DE that can play with Cole.
So what now? Did the storm pass? Let me throw a couple of “indicators” that tells me they have something else up their sleeves. I don’t think anyone can argue that Big Red seems to think he has his shit together and borderlines arrogant in the way he continually does the same thing, thinking it will work now when it has fallen short in the past. I think when you understand that, along with listening to Jeff Lurie during the Samuel press conference talk about how he does not want to be the type of owner who steers clear of certain positions when mistakes have been made with those positions in the past (aka WR and T.O. or drafting a DE high in round 1, Jerome McDougle).
So the question remains, is there a second part to signing Samuel. I am not part of the small group who thinks that Lito can/will play with Samuel. First of all, Lito wants more loot and playing with someone making a boatload more just will not work. Second of all, Sheldon COULD play FS, but I don’t think he is best suited for FS and he is not big enough to play SS. So Lito has to go, sell high, and understand he is undersized and injury prone. We simply cannot have him missing 4-6 games a year.
I am going to throw out the bottom 9 teams in pass defense and see if they have a player who might match Lito’s skill and could be a potential match.
1. Vikings – With the worst pass defense giving up 264 passing yards per game. Childress and Reid remain in open dialogue and I am sure the Vikings would like Lito, but for what price? I don’t think the Vikings would give up the #17 pick for Lito and I don’t think they have anything else we want.
2. Lions – Yes, they are hurting for a CB and their pass defense has been bad for YEARS. Roy Williams is someone every Eagles fan would love on this roster. Would you do Lito and our 2nd or 3rd for Roy Williams? I would certainly consider it heavily.
3. Saints – They just signed Randall Gay so in their minds they are probably set now. I would trade Lito for Colston,but I’m not so sure Saints would be down.
4. Bills – How about Lito for Lee Evans? Maybe the Bills sign Bryant Johnson and trade Evans before he is an UFA next year. We would need to work out an extension first, but this works well for both teams.
5. Cardinals – Whatever it takes for Larry Fitzgerald. I repeat, WHATEVER it TAKES! Boldin is a perfect fit for our offense so if Larry is not available, is Quan?
6. Bears – They have no talent (Period).
7. Bengals – Ocho Cinco for Lito in a package deal. You want a deep threat, he is one of the best.
8. Texans – I would love Andre Johnson, but they would need to be unbelievably stupid to want to trade ‘Dre. So maybe, it is Houston, and they did just resign Andre Davis.
9. Falcons – Roddy White was pretty impressive last year with no real QB. Raise your hand if you are an Eagles fan and Roddy White is the #1 WR you were looking for.
Free Agents :
Randy Moss – Resigned with the Pats – 3 yr, $27 million. Apparently Samuel told Banner and Big Red how great of a teammate Randy is and how much he has matured. This would be right in line with Kearse/TO in 2004. Biggest defensive FA on day one, followed by the top WR available.
Bryant Johnson – He was the Cardinal’s #3, so he could be signed to be our #1….that seems about right.
Six of the top seven teams need help at CB. I could see the Eagles packaging up Lito and their #1 to make a big jump on draft day for their future LT or a stud DE. Chris Long, Jake Long, Vernon Gholston, Ryan Clady could all be targets to make a big move on draft day. Chris Long and Jake Long are flat out studs. Gholston is a freak athletically and played very well at OSU. Clady could be a reach, but OT talent always seems to go early.