Asante, Donovan, and DRC

Posted: March 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 60 Comments »

Jim Wyatt reports from Tennessee that the Titans are lukewarm on Asante and a deal isn’t likely to get done with them.  Wyatt is a good writer and reliable reporter.  The Titans must be telling him this directly.

That said, his report has to be taken with a grain of salt.  The Titans gain nothing from telling him a deal is close.  If it falls apart, they look bad.  Just look at the circus with Miami and Doug Flynn or Cleveland and RG3.  I’m sure Wyatt is reporting what the Titans are telling him.  I’m just not sure they are telling the whole truth.   We’ll see how this plays out.

Mike O’Hara of FOXSportsDetroit.com says that the Lions remain a possible trade partner for the Eagles.  The Lions desperately need a good CB.  The hold up there is money.  They are tight against the Cap and making room for Asante would not be easy, even with him willing to restructure his deal.

Asante is a good player.  NFL teams need good CBs.  I expect something will get done between now and the draft.  Expect a lot of Asante updates between now and then.

* * * * *

Donovan McNabb went on ESPN and ripped Team Shanny.  Very mixed feelings on this.  First up, Donovan is right to rip Team Shanny.  Mike and his faithful sidekick (AKA son) Kyle have done little to make Skins fans miss coach Jim Zorn and QB Jason Campbell.  We can hear all kinds of great tales about what Mike did with Steve Young and John Elway, but that’s ancient history.  Think anyone cares what I was doing in 1994 or 1998?  (hint – it involved donuts, beer, and football)

Mike is living a bit too much off the past for my taste.  The guy still has a terrific offensive mind, but he hasn’t churned out dynamic offenses in recent years the way that you would think.  The Broncos were 2nd in yards in 2008, but Shanny hasn’t been Top 10 in points scored since 2005.  Mike Labinjo still had a future at that point.  (God, I loved Labinjo.  I just knew he was going to be a good player.  Alas…)

I think the NFL world sees that Mike is fading a bit.  I think he knows that and it is why he traded up for RG3.  Shanny needs stars.  My biggest issue with Shanny is that he’s addressing a situation now in Year 3 that he should have done to start with.  Shanny thought he could deal for Donovan, force him into a new offense, and get good results.  Shanny should have focused on getting a young QB that he could mold the way he wanted.

That said, Donovan is lobbing some serious bricks at Team Shanny and doing this while living in a house made of the thinnest glass in history.  Donovan says this about the problems in DC:

“You’re only as good as the guys around you, and also you have to be in a system that’s catered to your ability.”

Donovan, Donovan, Donovan.  The Shanny system is about play fakes and throwing the ball vertically.  The best thing you do these days is throw downfield.  You have never been good at play fakes with any consistency, but that’s on you.

Really what Donovan is upset about is how Team Shanny treated him.  Donovan was an entitled player in Philly.  He was the face of the franchise and he got along great with the staff.  Nobody questioned him.

That was the polar opposite of the Skins.  Mike and Kyle didn’t like the physical shape he was in.  They didn’t like the fact Donovan was slow to pick up the playbook.  They didn’t like the way he executed the offense.  And they let Donovan know about it, over and over.  This was a match made in hell…like tartar sauce and brownies.

Donovan could have met Team Shanny halfway and shown that he was willing to change, but he stood his ground and the situation blew up.  At that time, I was on Donovan’s side as much as I could be.

Unfortunately Donovan had similar issues in Minnesota.  Leslie Frazier and Darrell Bevell didn’t try to bully McNabb, but they did want him to get off the high horse and deal with reality.  Instead, Donovan asked for a booster seat.  That led to him being cut.

I loved Donovan when he was at Syracuse.  So much fun to watch.  I loved him as an Eagle.  The last 2 years have flat out sucked.  Donovan has made a fool of himself and he’s undone the goodwill he spent more than a decade building up.  Ranting against Team Shanny on ESPN only makes him look bad.  I appreciate the fact he was willing to speak out, but I need him to admit his own mistakes so that I can buy into him being an analyst.  Right now he comes across more like a jilted lover.  Sad to see.

And I do think RG3 has the mind and skill set to thrive in the Shanahan system.  He will come in there with no sense of entitlement and ready to work.  Donovan asked Team Shanny to use screen passes because that’s what worked in Philly.  I can’t see RG3 telling them to mix in some stuff he likes because “we burned Kansas for a TD with this play”.

* * * * *

The last post had some discussion of DRC.  What kind of a player his he and what is his future?  DRC was great in 2009.  He stunk up the joint in 2010.  DRC was all over the place in 2011.  He played well down the stretch.  The light seemed to come on for him.  And really, that’s all that needs to happen.  He has the physical tools to be an elite CB.

This isn’t a case of Dimitri Patterson having a couple of good games and then getting exposed.  DRC has special talent.  He is one of the fastest, most athletic players in the league.  The one issue with him is mental toughness.  DRC has to play up to his ability no matter what is going on around him.  He didn’t in 2010.  He didn’t early in 2011.

I fully expect DRC to be a good player in 2012.  I don’t know that he’ll jump all the way back to being a Pro Bowl CB, but it is certainly possible.  I think starting at LCB and knowing his role will be a huge boost to his confidence.  Also, being here for Year 2 will make him feel more at home.

The Eagles will try to extend his deal sometime this year.  They could gamble and do it this summer.  They could do it during the season.  If DRC has a good year, his price will only go up. If nothing can be worked out, the team could always franchise him next offseason.  Hopefully it won’t come to that.

* * * * *

Sheil Kapadia put up a good post on Asante and looking inside the numbers.  Excellent stuff, as always.


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

    End of the day McNabb is still right, he havnt done anything since Elway and the best QB since Elway, Plummer, kinda got force into retirement by him

    • TommyLawlor

      Donovan would have helped himself if he just admitted some culpability in the situation. Then his comments would have carried some real weight.

      Shanny hasn’t won big since Elway, but has had some offensive success. A better question is how much has he done without OL coach Alex Gibbs.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

        I don’t know Tommy, the quote you put in there from Don sure sounds like he’s pointing right at himself when you take it completely out of context.

        What’s Donovan’s greatest weakness? His limited ability to make all the throws, and decisions. Andy and Marty tailor made an offense for Donovan’s strengths and did things to try to hide his weaknesses. Toward the end of his tenure as Eagles QB teams had pretty much figured out what the game plan was going to be. As fans many of us were frustrated by the predictability factor.

        Maybe Donovan is subconsciously acknowledging his own weakness and realizing that he did in fact limit what the Eagles were able to do forcing them to customize an offense for him to run.

        In the end, I realize that’s not what Donovan’s conscious mind meant by the comment, but it made me chuckle when I read it.

  • Thunder_lips

    Been seeing a lot of buzz about the Eagles and Tannehill. I know we always check out the top QB prospects, but does this seem like more than that to you? Seems like we should be in win now mode at 15 (especially given Reid’s status), not taking a QB to sit for 2 years (not to mention the picks we’d have to give up to get him).

    • Kammich

      I think the Eagles have legitimate interest. Really great athlete who has shown a lot of growth at the QB position in just a year and a half transitioning from WR. He would not be an ideal pick for me, personally, but I can see the team really liking him.

      That said, I think it will be a moot point, because he can’t get past Miami at #8. They need a PR boost and Tannehill’s college coach(Sherman) is already in place on Miami’s staff. Heads will roll if Miami passes on him, I’d think.

      • Thunder_lips

        I would not be happy if they took him at 15, but I wouldn’t hate it either. I’m, more worried about them trading multiple picks to get to 6 or 7 and then taking him. That would be giving up the chance at several impact players for a QB that will sit for at least a year.

        • ian_no_2

          Tannehill is one of those ‘wishful thinking’ types like Gabbert etc.. hope they don’t take him

    • A_T_G

      I don’t have strong feeling on tannenhill, but I know I don’t want our draft decisions based on anyone trying to save his job for one more year. The draft has to be forward looking, and I trust Reid will do that regardless of how safe he feels.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Kozicky/671597545 Peter Kozicky

        Taking Tannehill would lock Reid in for another 2-3 years…say whatever else you want about him- he’s widely regarded as the league’s best at developing QBs.

        Regarding Samuel- if Detroit wants him but can’t afford him, do they have any players we could use?

        • Kammich

          I brought up Sammie Lee Hill in a prior thread, but considering he’d be coming here as a backup NT and they’d be getting a bonafide starter in Samuel… not sure thats a fair deal. Maybe if a draft pick was thrown in, or something to that effect.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

            They have an extra NT we have an extra CB… makes sense. But I’d still like them to at least throw us a 5th rounder this year.

            Doubt it will happen though I think our 3rd string NT is coming in the draft.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    So they’re going to try to extend him even though he hasn’t been consistently good since 2009? Um…why? The guy loafed his way through a couple of games last season. That’s worrisome. He knows every snap he plays is part of his job interview with the Eagles for a contract extension, or for that matter, a free agent contract somewhere else. The league has more than a handful of tremendously gifted athletes that don’t put it all together for one reason or another, no reason to hold on to someone that’s shown he’s not ever going to get it accomplished. Can’t say this guy even feels like an Eagle to me, yet, I’d have no heartburn in letting him ride off into the sunset if he doesn’t show a major improvement in consistency.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

      He was a miscast as a slot receiver, he simply isnt build to play in the slot. Once he got moved outside, he was maybe our best CB last year.

      • Dave_King

        Of course any cornerback is miscast as a slot receiver, haha.

        No, but seriously, DRC didn’t have the quickness and turn-on-a-dime agility that a slot cornerback needs.

      • Skeptic_Eagle

        Maybe that was the problem, but even if I concede that was the whole cause of the problem (and ignore the fact that Arizona didn’t play him in the slot during his awful 2010 campaign) you’re still talking about a sample size of what, 3 games, where he played well as an Eagle? I don’t think extending him should be a foregone conclusion.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

          So why ignore his very good rookie season and his pro bowl 2009 season?

          • Skeptic_Eagle

            I’m not ignoring them, they are well-earned feathers in his cap. However, his play from 3 seasons ago coupled with 3 “good” games as an Eagle, does not present a compelling argument to extend him in 2012. We need guys that are playing at a consistently high level, now.

          • TommyLawlor

            Wow, you ought to call yourself Skeptic Eagle or something like that.

            I understand your doubts/concerns. Legit stuff. And that’s why this is the time to extend DRC. He won’t cost mega-bucks. Is there risk? Yes, but I take it.

            If he has a great year, we’re looking at a huge deal.

            DRC still has elite skills. This is one of the times where Andy does really need to put him in a position to succeed. Stick the guy at LCB and give him a decent pass rush. If that happens, DRC should give us a good season.

          • Cliff

            I have to agree with Anders. Your argument seems to be the “three” games as an Eagles and 2008-2009 do not matter, but 2010 and most of the Eagles season do. I don’t see why he COULDN’T be as good as those 2008-2009 and “three” 2011 games. He hasn’t slowed down and he hasn’t become less athletic.

  • Kammich

    A question about the proposed Asante deal… when they say conditional 2013 3rd-rounder, what is the “conditional” part? Does that mean it can escalate to a 2nd-rounder based off of performance? If so, I’d feel a lot better about the deal.

    • iskar36

      Usually, “conditional” 3rd rounder means a 3rd rounder is the highest we should expect. If he doesn’t fulfill the conditions, we will end up with most likely a 4th rounder instead (or less). To me, a conditional 3rd round pick next year is terrible compensation for Asante, especially if the conditions are not basically an automatic lock to happen. If we are looking for a pick next year, I would want at least a conditional 2nd round pick.

      • Kammich

        If that is correct, its a shit deal. As Tommy said in the last thread, a future draft choice should always be upgraded by a round in value, or it defeats the whole purpose.

        I understand all of the parameters of why you trade a guy like Asante. However, trading him for what could essentially amount to a 4th round pick next year seems like the team is just urgent to get him the hell out of town. That’s bad business. Irregardless of his high cap number and our depth at CB, you don’t trade a Pro Bowl CB unless you’re getting some sort of approximate value back for him.

    • TommyLawlor

      With a star like Asante conditions should be level of play. With other players, often tied to playing time.

  • ian_no_2

    The league average for passer rating is 75 to 85 according to Pro Football Reference. McNabb was 77.1 for Washington and 82.9 for Minnesota without one of his hot streaks either time, while learning a new offense. The guy can still play. I have no idea one way or another about his personality and whether it’s conducive to adjusting to his situation now.

    • TommyLawlor

      Physically, Donovan can still play. Problem is that he scares teams right now. He seems uncoachable. Nobody wants a player like that. Donovan is his own worst enemy. He went on ESPN last year and said he asked the Vikings to release him because it was the best thing for his family. Huh? He is uber-delusional.

      I wish Donovan had some HS coach or family friend from the old days who could talk to him man-to-man and get Donovan back to reality. He can still be a solid starting QB. He just has to accept that he’s no longer Donovan McNabb, Superstar.

      If Donovan has no interest in that, then focus on broadcasting.

      I hate the ending, but that doesn’t erase all the good years he gave us. He was a blessing for the Eagles.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    Interesting. Fox Sports Detroit writer Mike O’Hara saying there’s not a chance the Lions are interested in trading for Asante Samuel. Could conceivably be a smokescreen, but it’s looking more like Bob Grotz is right, the Eagles will probably have to release him for nothing. Either that, or for a pittance.

    Overall, it was still a good signing. Who can forget the Pick 6 against the Vikings in the ’08 playoffs where Chris Clemons chokeslammed Tarvaris Jackson as part of Asante’s security detail to the endzone?

    • pkeagle

      Looks like we shoulda traded him to the Lions last year – hisvalue has decreased significantly in large part due to his cap number. I think he’s got about 3 good years left (if not more)

    • iceberg584

      Or the big interception and return against Eli the next week that set up an early touchdown. Both of the wins against Min and NY were close games that his plays essentially helped us take control of. He came up huge in the ’08 playoffs, and was as big a reason as anybody that we got to the NFCCG that year.

  • ian_no_2

    I like the idea of extending DRC even less than I like the idea of starting him this year – much, much less, in fact. I don’t fail to see the practical logic of dumping Asante’s salary and betting on press corner DRC to step up in his walk year, taking advantage of DRC’s relatively low salary to load up in other areas.* The problem with this logic is DRC doesn’t know how to play cornerback in the NFL, and the drop off between Asante and DRC may be the difference in the season.

    CB contracts:
    Aaron Ross 3 years, $15.3 M
    Dimitri Patterson 3 years, $16 M; $6 M guaranteed
    Richard Marshall 3 years, $16 M; $6 M guaranteed
    Brandon Carr 5 years, $50.1 M
    Eric Wright 5 years, $37.5 M
    Carlos Rodgers 4 years, $29.3 M
    Cortland Finnegan 5 years, $50 M
    Terrell Thomas 4 years, $28 M; $11 M guaranteed

    If Dimitri F***ing Patterson gets $5.3 M a year with $6 M guaranteed, how much are you going to have to gamble on DRC? I’m all for looking out for talent in this draft. Maybe Curtis Marsh will overcome his boneheaded special teams play.

    I obviously don’t like CBs who make a living on measurables and who make no attempt to learn how to play the game, and think that teams that count on them watch the playoffs at home, like every team DRC has ever played for.

    * don’t the Eagles take a cap hit anyway if they trade Asante? so it can’t be used for someone else?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

      Wtf are you on? DRC does not know how to play CB? how did he get 10 ints in 2009? luck?

      • ian_no_2

        No, not luck: you counted wrong.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

          I forgot to type 2008, still does not make my point any less relevant. He was voted to the pro bowl in 2009, players does not get voted to there first pro bowl by not been able to play in the NFL.

          • ian_no_2

            DRC 2010:

            3 interceptions
            6 pass interference penalties (tied for league lead)
            10 missed tackles (worst percentage of any defensive back, 18.9%)

            DRC 2011:

            missed tackle percentage increases to 26.1%

            2012:

            Eagles fans try to focus on DRC’s interceptions in his first two years

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

            Why only focus on the years there support your claim?

          • laeagle

            Cherrypicking looks really bad when you ignore the years already brought up.

            Everyone looks bad when you focus on their bad qualities. Everyone looks good when you focus on their good. It takes a slightly sophisticated mind (read: adult, non-Negadelphian) to realize the truth is a combination of both.

          • ian_no_2

            Since you haven’t said anything negative about DRC, and I have said numerous positive things about him, please stop talking about “cherrypicking” and “only focus on the years that support my claim.” I’m introducing essential stats on his performance in the last two years..

            If I were a Giants fan I would find your denial amusing, but not as amusing as a screen pass in front of DRC. As an Eagles fan it’s just sad.

          • laeagle

            You make the ridiculous claim that DRC “doesn’t know how to play cornerback in the NFL”. Someone refutes that claim, mentioning his two prior good years. You break out statistics, as if to say, “numbers don’t lie”, and explicitly leave out his good years. That’s called cherry-picking statistics. Even more blatant when you cherry picked 2010 and 2011 in direct response to someone bringing up 2008 and 2009.

            I don’t doubt that there is risk associated with signing DRC long term. But to make a claim like “he can’t play cornerback in the NFL” when he had 9 INTs in a year and went to the pro bowl is just ludicrous. Sorry, you want to engage in intelligent debate, you can’t throw out hyperbole like that, and then act as if the numbers back you up. Especially when you only show the numbers that DO back you up. Regardless of whatever negative or positive things you may have said about him, that particular thing is outrageously incorrect and ill-informed.

          • ian_no_2

            * missed tackles by individual players wasn’t counted by FO until 2010, but in the short history of the statistic, DRC has dominated throughout;
            * 6 interceptions in a year, not 9;
            * you didn’t mention no INT for DRC this year.. or the dropped INTs…

          • laeagle

            Do you not get it? This isn’t about DRC being the greatest thing ever. It’s about your claim that he does not know how to play cornerback. You don’t have the two good years he had unless you do, in fact, know how to play cornerback. That’s a long way from “you’re the best cornerback ever” or “nothing you do is anything shy of perfect”. I’m not making those claims, which would both be as ridiculous on the positive scale as your comment was on the negative scale.

      • pkeagle

        Actually Anders he totalled 10 INTs in 2008 & 2009 combined but I agree with you that he has the potential to be a 6-8 INT per season guy

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

          yea I know, I was in hurry and forgot the /2008 (see above)

    • http://twitter.com/n3th3rman Christopher Miller

      It may turn out he cannot play, but don’t we need to find that out by allowing him to play a season at his more natural position with the benefit of a good DB coach and a full off season to get on the same page as the safeties behind him? I would not extend him yet unless he is willing to take a reasonable and incentive laden deal that allows both parties to be protected depending on his play. If he gets back to playing up to his potential he gets the salary he deserves, if he does not we move on without a massive salary cap hit.

      • ian_no_2

        Instead of giving an inflated second contract to DRC, they can get Dre Kirkpatrick tied up 4 years on the rookie pay scale: press corner with the same height, much better tackler than DRC will ever be, can play safety.

  • pkeagle

    In regards to the cap hit – it wouldn’t be equivalent to his total for the year.
    Secondly, the question of who to play all comes back to the defensive scheme.
    To succeed in the upcoming season using the wide-9, I really do think we need to play man and Asante is incapable of doing this.
    As for extending DRC, there’s more upside to it. If he plays well, we’ve got a player in one of the most important positions locked up for years.
    If on the other hand he stinks up the joiont, we move on and knowing the FO, I can’t see them structuring it so that the cap hit would be crippling.

    • ian_no_2

      I think the cap hit would be $2 mil according to eaglescap.com, so the team would gain $8.5 M of cap room. Makes sense as you say “if” DRC plays well, “if”….

  • nopain23

    If the eagles have decided that AS no longer fits the scheme..then why not trade him.this is exactly what happened with Ryans in Houston.Also maybe behind the scenes..our new DB coach Mr Bowles agrees that DRC better fits the scheme as well.If Bowles was up in arms over AS22 leaving…then I don’t think the FO would trade him

    • 47_Ronin

      +1

      I think the input of of Bowles and the other the coaches (and their development in the scheme) will be very important in roster decisions.

    • Kammich

      Great point, re: Bowles. We requested to interview him for the Defensive Coordinator spot last year, and finally landed him as DB coach this year. The organization obviously values his opinion. I truly doubt they’re ushering him into Philly with a greeting of, “Hey, we’re gonna go trade our top-playmaking DB for peanuts. Suck it!”

      You’ve got to think that Bowles has signed off on this. He likes his press corners as much as anyone, judging by the likes of Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, and Nolan Carroll gobbling up playing time in Miami the past few years. He’s probably salivating at the upside of Run-DRC.

  • Toby_yboT

    I cringe every time I hear donny talking his own value down. I wish the best for him but he seems determined to crush my hopes for him! Not that he’d be highly sought after, but if he just kept his trap shut and played the diplomat (was so good at that early in his career) then I’m sure teams would take a chance on him.

    Between him, Freddie Mitchell, and T.O., it’s amazing that Reid was able to keep that team function-able.

  • GermanEagle

    The King is back…! :)

    • D3Keith

      We are down with the kiiiiiing. One-year deal, apparently.

      I like it. Creates another non-need on draft day, yet we’re not precluded from taking a T if we love one.

      • GermanEagle

        …well, let’s all hope JP’s achilles is not torn…

  • izzylangfan

    I think the Eagles should go with a DT in round one under most circumstances. Over the next few years the Eagles might need to replace as many as seven starting linemen. So they had better start now and those guys are best chosen in round one.

    I am also concerned about the slot corner and slot receiver positions. Hanson and Avant are getting older and will also need to be replaced. In addition the Eagles cut Hanson last year only to find that an otherwise pretty good corner does not a slot corner make. So this could be a difficult position to fill. The slot receiver also has some unusual capabilities. If these folks are going to need a year of seasoning we can get them in the draft and coach them up. But what round do you need to draft them.

    If you need to get a DT and SAM in the first two rounds, then that only leaves one second round pick to get either the slot corner or slot receiver. Then we still need a backup for the interior of the offensive line.

    Tommy, what do you think the Eagles strategy is with regard to these slot positions both in free agency and in the draft?

    PS I know that all is fair in love, war, and building an NFL roster; but cutting Hanson last year hurt.

    • Eric Weaver

      Tommy expects the Eagles to target Brandon Boykin in the second.

  • GermanEagle

    If JP is out for the year (achilles), then OT in the first round becomes a huge possibility.. :(

  • IowaEagle

    Todd Mcshay’s Mock for the Eagles makes me want to vomit, eat it, and vomit again:

    Philadelphia Eagles

    Round One, pick 15: Mark Barron, S, Alabama

    Round Two, pick 46: Devon Still, DT, Penn State

    Round Two, pick 51: Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma

    • GermanEagle

      This mock might be even more useless should JP’s achilles be really torn…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=600841 Brian Winings

    If Jason Peters has a torn achilles, the season is over.

    • IowaEagle

      Wait… what happened? Did someone mention Peters was having problems?!? I’m confused

  • juggadore

    i dont know why they didnt have DRC return kicks last year. at least once in a while…