Heckert Package Deal?

One of the variables when it comes to figuring out where Eagles general manager Tom Heckert could be headed this offseason is the potential destination of Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Heckert and Spagnuolo, of course, worked together at NovaCare before Spagnuolo left for New York two years ago. Now, a Newsday report suggests that the Denver Broncos could be interested in a Heckert-Spagnuolo package. This is not the first time your Eagletarian has heard speculation that Heckert and Spagnuolo -- both of whom are expected to take new jobs this offseason -- could be reunited.

Speculation that Heckert might leave this offseason has been strong ever since his top assistant, Jason Licht, was forced out last spring and replaced with Howie Roseman, a protege of team president Joe Banner. Some high-profile personnel misses (such as Lorenzo Booker) heightened that speculation, especially when it seemed the Eagles would miss the playoffs. The Eagles pushed Heckert's candidacy for an Atlanta job last offseason, a big change from previous offseasons, when they fought to keep him.

A league source said today that teams wanting to talk to Heckert must ask the Eagles for permission, and that so far, no one has done so.

Meanwhile, the big news at Eagles practice Friday was the absence of Pro Bowl corner Asante Samuel, who suffered a hip injury in Thursday's workout, Eagles coach Andy Reid said.

Reid said he thought Samuel would be OK for Sunday's wild-card round playoff matchup in Minnesota, but the Eagles are listing him as "questionable." Also in that category are RB Brian Westbrook (knee, ankle), TE L.J. Smith (shoulder) and RT Jon Runyan (knee). Runyan and Samuel sat out Friday's practice. Westbrook and Smith were limited participants.

Lito Sheppard took Samuel's practice reps Friday.