Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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Asante doesn't want a trade; Eagles fielding calls

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Asante Samuel does not want to be traded.

Asante doesn't want a trade; Eagles fielding calls

Teams completed only 25 percent of their deep throws to Asante Samuel´s side last season. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)
Teams completed only 25 percent of their deep throws to Asante Samuel's side last season. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Asante Samuel does not want to be traded.

That might not be enough to keep him in Philadelphia.

The Eagles are receiving calls from other teams interested in the Pro Bowl cornerback, NFL sources said.

Apparently the third wheel in the Eagles' cornerback trifecta, Samuel has been rumored to be on the block after the blockbuster acquisition that netted the Eagles' Nnamdi Asomugha on Friday and the trade that brought Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Philadelphia the day before.

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But the Eagles have said they're keeping all three, although a league source with knowledge of the team's thinking said a "great" trade offer could change the game plan.

Samuel's agent, Alonzo Shavers, said that the Eagles have not told his client that he will be traded. Samuel has not been in camp since the start because of a personal issue. His absence has been excused.

"Asante is still an Eagle," Shavers said on Saturday. "I do not want anyone to get confused because he's been absent. The Eagles obviously went out an wanted to get a big name in Nnamdi. But we'll see how things go when Asante gets into camp and practices."

Shavers described Samuel as being initially confused by the decision to sign the Asomugha, considered by many to be the top one or two corners in the league. But he said his client wants to get into camp and compete. It appears unlikely the Eagles would keep all three cornerbacks although the team made some surprising decisions before.

"He's not worried about being traded in terms of his productivity," Shavers said. "If it happens, it happens."

Samuel, 30, has 42 career interceptions with seven coming in the postseason. His 36 interceptions since 2006 are most in the NFL. Last season, he notched seven interceptions in 11 games. Opposing quarterbacks only threw at him 36 times, according to Football Outsiders.

Asomugha, by comparison, was targeted 31 times in 14 games, but recorded zero picks.

Eagles coach Andy Reid said Saturday that Asomugha will start off at right cornerback when he can finally practice. The 30-year-old is expected to report to camp this evening. Rodgers-Cromartie played left cornerback at today's practice two days after the coach said he would be the team's starting right corner.

Samuel has only played on the left side for the Eagles.

"Asante can play either side," Shavers said.

Could he play the nickel?

"It this defense it makes no sense to move Asante to the nickel," Shavers said. "I don't think the numbers suggest that that's something he would want to do."

Still uncertain is what the Eagles' defensive scheme will look like under new coordinator Juan Castillo. Samuel plays more off the ball, while Asomugha plays press primarily. Rodgers-Cromartie played off most of the time for the Cardinals.

We may finally see the Eagles' plan in the next few days when Samuel finally reports.

"It could be today it could be tomorrow, but it should be here in the next couple of days," Shavers said.

Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer
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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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