Asante Update & More

Posted: March 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 64 Comments »

Derrick Gunn had a report tonight about the Titans-Eagles deal involving Asante Samuel, saying could be done in the next few days.  Gunn reported that the price could be a conditional 3rd round pick.  If true, that means the pick is for the 2013 draft.  Obviously no conditions could be met before the season, unless we’re talking about something abstract that involves eating Funyuns, watching The Fugitive on basic cable, and getting Katy Perry to hit up Evan Mathis on Twitter.

A 2013 3rd round pick for Asante would be a steal for the Titans.  When talking about picks in future years, the value needs to go up by a round.  The equivalent of a 2012 3rd round pick is a 2013 2nd round pick.  And so on.  I hope that makes sense.

I’d be fine with dealing him for a 5th this year and conditional pick next year.  That would be more of a fair deal.

One question more than a few people have is…why deal Asante?

The man still is incredibly talented.  He is one of the best playmaking CBs in the league.  However…Asante is highly unreliable, in terms of both tackling and coverage assignments.  This is something a veteran coach might know how to deal with (Jim Johnson in ’08), but a coach like Juan Castillo  isn’t programmed to deal with a guy like Asante.  The coach must know how to plan for his freelancing.  It also helped that JJ had veteran Safeties in Dawk and Mikell to help cover up those times when Asante did his own thing.

Setting those issues aside, Asante is no longer a good fit.  The scheme now calls for press coverage on the outside.  That is critical because it syncs up with the pass rush up front.  One of the points that Castillo made several times this year is how coverage and a strong rush go hand in hand.  After a QB hits the 3rd, 5th, or 7th step, he is in trouble if no player is immediately open.  Castillo referred to QBs taking a hitch step.  When this happens, Babin and Cole have a chance to get there.  When the QB can throw on time, the pass rush has little to no chance.  There simply isn’t enough time.

Asante can play press coverage, but he doesn’t like to do it.  He prefers to play off.  That allows him to read the QB and receiver and then jump routes.  Asante is still great at doing this, but it just doesn’t work well with the current scheme.  Asante is much more effective when the team blitzes a lot.  That leads to the QB getting rid of the ball quickly, and giving Asante a chance to jump routes.

There is no reason to keep Asante.  He would be lost at playing the slot.  He needs to be the LCB.  He needs to play his game.

Dealing him to the Titans would be ideal.  Asante is still a very good cover corner.  I’d rather not give him to an NFC contender if possible.  Why help a team like the Lions out if you can help it?  Should they offer a better deal, then the heck with it.  Send him to Motown.

* * * * *

I wrote an update on the SAM position for PE.com.

* * * * *

Matt posted a 2nd round to the mock draft at ScoutsNotebook.

* * * * *

Taking a WR at 15 continues to be brought up.  Let me try to clear up the situation.  I personally would not spend that pick on a WR other than Justin Blackmon, a player who I think has virtually no shot to be there.

The Eagles might feel differently.  They could value Michael Floyd or Kendall Wright at pick 15.  I truly doubt it, but it is possible.  And I stand by my contention that it would be a bad pick.  They aren’t bad players, but the fit/value simply isn’t there.  Pick 15 needs to land you an impact guy.  We’re set with starting WRs.  We need to upgrade the depth and can do that as early as the 2nd round, but not at pick 15.

Put me on record now…if the Eagles do that…dumb move.  Waste of resources.  If DJax or Mac is killed in a bizarre gardening accident, I’ll change my tune.  Until that happens, count me out on WR.  Should a WR be atop the board when 15 does come up, you trade back.  Simple as that.

* * * * *

For those who didn’t see this in the previous comments section…DeMeco Ryans gets the Iron Maiden treatment.  Good job from a dedicated Eagles fan (Thunder Lips).

* * * * *

Someone asked about Antonio Dixon in the last comments section.  Dixon looked like a really good player in 2010.  He started slow last year, but his best game was the one where he got hurt.  Dixon is a talented DT with size.  I think the Eagles are smart to see what Jim Washburn can do with him.  Dixon may not turn out as good as we hope, but he’s worth the risk.  He had a couple of terrific games in 2010.  The raw talent is there.

* * * * *

There was a lot of great discussion in the previous post about drafting QBs.  I’ll try to address the subject in a QB post.  Lots of different angles to consider.  Circumstances are super important.  If you switched Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf back in 1998 I guarantee you the results would have been different.  Think about this…Manning walked into a huddle that had Marshall Faulk and Marvin Harrison.  Leaf was looking at Natrone Means and WRs Charlie Jones and Bryan Still.  Honestly…I don’t remember Jones at all.  If you played in the NFL in the 1990s and I can’t remember you…that ain’t a good sign.


  • GermanEagle

    Granted I don’t get your logic, buddy.

    You wouldn’t be happy with a 3rd round pick next year but at the same time would accecpt a 5th rounder (+ cond. pick in 2013) this year?!

    I’d be happy with a 3rd rounder in 2013 since it would be the equivalent to a 4th rounder this year. So unless “your conditional pick” next year involves a high pick I have to say I am confused.com…

    • TommyLawlor

      2012 – 5th
      2013 – conditional 3rd

      The 5th gives you something of value right now. Not great, but something. Then next year you have the chance to get as high as a 3rd.

  • ian_no_2

    Floyd is a potential bust to me. I can’t see the Eagles drafting a WR except for Blackmon 15, maybe 2nd round or midround.

    I have seen Dre Kirkpatrick mocked to the Eagles a few times, but the Eagles weren’t one of the dozen teams working him out. (?) Maybe this has been covered before.. but he seems like a good fit for the team.

    • TommyLawlor

      Dre is a very good CB. Problem is that I only want a CB taken in the 1st/2nd round that can play in the slot. If not, we’re stuck with a repeat of last year where we’ve got 3 outside CBs and 2 outside spots.

      I don’t think of Dre as a slot guy. Eagles might.

      • ian_no_2

        But Dre can play FS.

        The other factor is that DRC and Asante are probably not in town for long.

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

          DRC should hopefully be hear for a lot of years, consider he is only 24 years old.

          • ian_no_2

            Scenario 1: DRC plays badly in his walk year (my guess);
            Scenario 2: DRC plays well (possible) and gets a huge FA contract from a team that overlooks his inconsistency.

          • ceteris_paribus1776

            Scenario 3: DRC plays well and receives a reasonable FA deal from the Eagles as they’ve been known to do.

            Unless DRC plays out of his mind, who would be willing to pay him a huge deal 3 years removed from a huge deal warranting season? If he plays well this year, last year’s ho-hum season could be a sign of improper use as may be the case with a number of other players on this defense and not necessarily an indictment against DRC as an overall player.

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

            When was the last time the Eagles let one of there own top FAs leave? 2002 with Trotter?

          • ian_no_2

            Mikell last year ++

      • austinfan

        4 outside CBs, are we writing off Marsh so quickly?

        In fact, as far as pure athleticism, Marsh matches up well against the top CBs in this draft, question is how much progress he made last year, he was a project as a converted RB (Grimes was a college RB who converted in the pros, pretty amazing) with only 2 years experience, but with a year under his belt and an off season, not sure a lot of draft picks will be ahead of him.

        I’m actually thinking in terms of the 2nd and 3rd rd, Boykin would fit some needs, but there are a bunch of physical CBs with average speed in this draft who could fit inside (Fleming, et al) and give you a nickel back with safety like run defense skills (check how often Hanson had to make the tackle when teams ran out of 3 WR sets, I want a Rod Hood type at nickel CB).

  • Eagles1991

    Tommy:

    Excellent work as usual. Two quick questions.

    1- where does Kuechly rank among LB drafted in the past 5-10 years?

    2- think the birds would make a move for CB Stephon Gilmore from South Carolina if he was there in the early 2nd round?

    Thanks for the valuable insight

    • TommyLawlor

      1 – Gotta think about that.

      2 – If you listen to Mike Mayock, Gilmore might not be on the board at 15. I don’t like Gilmore nearly that much. If Gilmore did slide, he could be of interest. He might be athletic enough to play in the slot. He also has some RS potential, which would be nice.

      • Kevin_aka_RC

        Who’s taking Gilmore in the top 14?
        @Tommy, how many great SLOT CBs are there in the draft? Boykin comes up first. I love Casey Heyward (my ideal 3rd round target). Both are quick/physical. Who else is an early target?

        • TommyLawlor

          Jayron Hosley – Va Tech
          Dwight Bentley – La-Lafayette

          • Kammich

            What do you think of Josh Robinson? He lit it up at the Combine, so he might not even be there for our first 2nd rounder. But he’s got explosive RS potential, and seems like he could play the slot(although he may be a bit too small/weak to set the edge in any capacity).

  • http://twitter.com/RohanErm Rohan Erm

    Eagles fans like to ridicule Asante for various reasons, yet he was the overall highest rated cornerback through football outsiders game charting. Check the link:

    http://footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2012/best-cornerback-charting-stats-2011

    He still has a tremendous amount of ability, but I agree a trade is the right move, and considering his salary, will be hard to find good value.

    • ian_no_2

      the Eagles would be replacing one of the best CBs (Asante) with one of the worst (DRC). How teams become mediocre.

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

        That seems like a stretch. Don’t get me wrong… I love Asante, love the picks, the swagger, cheer for him when he makes a tackle all that.

        But dude, were you watching last season? DRC is like greased lightening. He was a top Eagles target when he came out in the draft for a reason.

        I would just caution that this isn’t going from AS22 to Trevard Lindley… DRC isn’t a lock for the HOF or anything like that, but we will have a nice bookend of press corners. Possibly the best in the NFL paired with one of the most athletic who has made a probowl appearance. (just isn’t made to play Slot though he did get better as the season went on).

        • ian_no_2

          DRC played well in the Senior Bowl and ran a 4.33. He made the Pro Bowl in his second year. He has since regressed, leading the league in missed tackles and penalties and having difficulty in coverage.

          • teltschikfakeout88

            Morton did you change your screen name?

          • iskar36

            While ian_no_2 may be overstating the difference between Asante and DRC, he raises a valid point. DRC has not played at the Pro Bowl level he played at in his second year. He has regressed since then. While he provided reasons to think he was improving by the end of the year, don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that he will be a stud corner on the outside this year. He still has a lot to prove, and it’s not going to be as simple of a thing as addition by subtraction.

            I think it is the right move to trade Asante (although I think a conditional 3rd round pick next year would be awful compensation), and I am hopeful about DRC, but a lot of people are just assuming DRC will be a stud, and the evidence suggests that may not end up being the case.

          • teltschikfakeout88

            In the first post, a statement was made that we were replacing one of the best CB’s with one of the worst CB’s; its very hard for me to any subsequent comment as being objective when we start with something that is so extreme. AS is great and is a playmaker, but he has some pretty bad warts. If not for his ability to improvise he would of been out of the league years ago, but I am thankful for his talent that obviously outweighs his shortcomings. Also, while DRC did not play well in the slot, Tommy has provided valid points as to his struggles (new place, new coach learning on the fly, new teammates one of which freelances etc.)

          • iskar36

            It’s the last part that I think a lot of people are missing. You are right, there are plenty of reasons to be “cautiously” optimistic, however, DRC is not a guarantee to be great. Tommy’s points are very valid, but DRC also didn’t have as great of a season in his last year in Arizona compared to his pro bowl year. If you put any stock in to FO, he went from having the 3rd best success rate to 55th (this is with the same team, same coach, same defensive coordinator, etc).

            I’m not saying DRC will be a bad starting CB. I’m just arguing the other side because I think too many people believe trading Asante is an obvious case of addition by subtraction, and I’m just not sure it is that simple.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Pillion/1007742 Brian Pillion

            It’s really well past time that we come up with some new uses for ol’ Morty’s handle. For instance, rather than questioning whether a particular poster is, in fact, Morton, one might say “top of the morton to you, sir” or “quit mortoning”. This strikes me as fine tribute to an invaluable member of our community.

          • teltschikfakeout88

            Tremedous Post Sir! ROTFLMAO!

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

            +1

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

        You are comparing one been used wrong (DRC in the slot) with one playing the way is play best (Samuel). If you look, a guy like Dimitri F*cking Patterson shows up, this is another example on how usage matters alot, Patterson failed outside for us, but have proven he is a very good slot CB.

        For the Eagles it is simple about getting younger and change of philosophy, we are going to play alot more press man and Samuel cant play that style.

    • Cvd52

      Last year was one of his better years. I think itvall comes down to $ and the whole press coverage thing. He also has been getting nicked up a lot lately. I’m not sold yet on drc after last season but we will c this year.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICVWVOU3QY2LS6ELVMH7BVNW7Y somekid

        he came on towards the end of the season

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICVWVOU3QY2LS6ELVMH7BVNW7Y somekid

    tommy i love this site but I dont get why you keep posting possible trades to det. I won’t happen…they are at or near the salary cap and have yet to sign avril’s franchise tag…they have no flexibility to add asante

    • TommyLawlor

      Asante’s agent said that they could restructure his contract if needed.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICVWVOU3QY2LS6ELVMH7BVNW7Y somekid

        yeah but do you see him taking a dollar to play for the lions…they just inched the salary cap ceiling through some cuts after this was posted ( http://www.prideofdetroit.com/2012/3/11/2863254/nfl-salary-cap-2012-lions )

        So they do a long term contract with avril they stretched at the moment

        • TommyLawlor

          Teams can work around money if they want to bad enough. If the Lions think a 1st round CB solves their secondary, that’s the way they’ll go. I think they’d like to add a veteran.

          It won’t be easy, but they can figure things out if they want Asante bad enough. Maybe they’ve changed their mind since last summer.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICVWVOU3QY2LS6ELVMH7BVNW7Y somekid

    I think the eagles hold the cards now…if it is true about asante willing to restructure his deal….if the hold out a little longer a 4th and a conditional is not too far fetched….

    I dont know what zone teams are lacking a good corner but if roseman works those phones like I know he can…he can get a little bidding war going

  • nopain23

    Tommy

    If Seattle steals LK40…and we get cox at 15…is the second rd too early to draft Lavonte David?…I know he lacks size…but watching his game tape..he really stands out..flies all over the place..and dude can tackle……can he compete at wlb or sam…?….he’s not bad in coverage either….

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICVWVOU3QY2LS6ELVMH7BVNW7Y somekid

      second is perfect for his talent level…and SAM is the position

    • TommyLawlor

      David will go in the 2nd. He’s good in coverage. Tackles well. The only real question is size and physicality. He showed real progress at the Senior Bowl so that might make him a guy the Eagles are willing to gamble on.

      By comparison, Zach Brown went to Mobile with tackling issues. He left Mobile with tackling issues. You saw little to no progress on that front. David improved.

    • M0rton

      Todd McShay and Mel Kiper actually consider Lavonte David a fringe 1st round prospect. McShay considers him one of his favorite players in the draft.

      I actually wouldn’t be upset with trade-in back into the 1st round to target David. He’s a hell of a player.

      • http://twitter.com/benjabad Ben Hert

        Say we trade back to somewhere in the late 20′s…anyone have an idea what we might get for that?

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UL27PYQSBRHXJUXRGSWOLGCSHQ Nathan

          I posted this at the end of the last thread:

          In an earlier thread someone asked what would happen if Fletcher Cox and/or Luke Kuechly were gone at 15 what should the Eagles do. The more I think about it I hope we trade down. Looking at the value chart we can trade pick 15 for a late 1st round and a late 2nd round and still be a few points short. I could see the Packers, Ravens, or Patriots falling in love with Whitney Mercilus as an OLB in their 3-4 (really anyone at the end of the first could fall in love with someone, I’m just using Mercilus as an example). If we were to trade with the Packers, they would give up #28 (660 points) and #59 (310 points) for our #15 (1050 points). I know it makes us a few points short, but they could throw in a late round pick to make it even. We would then own picks 28, 46, 51, and 59. We could add any combination of Still, Worthy, Curry, Boykin, Kendricks, Reyes, Lavonte David, or Zach Brown. One of these players should be available at all of our picks. We could add depth at several key positions. We would also have our 3rd (#88) to add whatever we missed out on during our first four picks (maybe Keenan Robison if we don’t add a SAM in one of the 1st 4). That would add 5 players inside the top 88 picks. This team needs to add pieces, but the majority of our starters are set. This scenario would add depth and starters for the future. I’m not opposed to adding Cox or Kuechly, but I’m not opposed to trading down at all.

          • http://twitter.com/benjabad Ben Hert

            Awesome. Thanks.

          • Kammich

            chugga chugga choo-choo, all aboard the Kendall Reyes train!

            I’m really becoming enamored with him as a priority 2nd round target(presuming we don’t go DT at #15).

    • http://twitter.com/benjabad Ben Hert

      Regardless of who it is, I think its imperative to do something at SAM in the second round this year. Seems to be a great year to get some really good talent in the second round at LB. As much as I like Chaney, he hasn’t earned a starting spot at all, and I feel he really needs to be challenged.

      Personally, I want Kendricks, Davis, or McClellin at some point in the second round, and Boykin as the other pick in the second.

  • 47_Ronin

    Tommy,

    I enjoyed your SAM update on PE.com. I think Demario Davis is a very good LB prospect, and like you, I was impressed with his demeanor at the Senior Bowl dealing with HOF coach M. Singletary. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed to read that the Eagles didn’t send a representative to Ark St for their Pro Day (freaking the Gnots sent some people, would hate to see the him get drafted by the Gmen and turn into a stud). The past several years, I think the Red Wolves have had some good athletes come through the program, I really liked DL Alex Carrington a few years ago and I hoped the Eagles would target him, but he gets drafted by the Bills.

    Another LB prospect with similar measurables as Davis is Tank Carder (who you’ve also written about). As of now, who are giving a higher draft grade/who do like more between Davis and Carder?

    • TommyLawlor

      Davis is better.

  • M0rton

    I think that you can’t go into the season repeating the mistake of last year – with three starting cornerbacks on the roster.

    On the other hand, technically speaking, Asante was actually their best CB last year. So if you ship off your best CB, you have to wonder about the passing defense next year.

    Caveat Emptor, Howie & Andy.

    • GermanEagle

      You spelled your name wrong.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICVWVOU3QY2LS6ELVMH7BVNW7Y somekid

    “Safety Yeremiah Bell, released by Miami last week, has drawn interest from Philadelphia. The Dolphins and Bell will remain in contact, and neither side has ruled out a return.”

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/29/2719985/miami-dolphins-jeff-ireland-to.html

    I won’t get my hopes up but if true he could be a great one/two year stop gap for that SS position

    • TommyLawlor

      Nice find. Bell would make sense here as a stop gap.

  • Thunder_lips

    Thanks for the shout out. Glad I went with the Iron Maiden theme over my first idea (Meco in the Middle).

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICVWVOU3QY2LS6ELVMH7BVNW7Y somekid

      you got love on bleeding green nation too…good stuff man

    • TommyLawlor

      Iron Maiden + Eagles football = awesome.

    • http://twitter.com/Scisyph Tyler

      Strange coincidence, when I was reading Tommy’s post and clicked on your creation, I was listening to Number of the Beast. Just thought I’d share

  • nopain23

    T
    One more LB question.who is the better LB prospect Kendricks or David?…I know Kendricks had a monster combing performance and was DPOY…..but David just seems to POP.on the game film..and IMO would thrive next to Ryans..no?…oh and is it just me or David seems to have big time blitzing potential as well……

    • TommyLawlor

      David will be more highly rated overall. Kendricks will obviously be of more interest to teams looking for a MLB.

      I’d love to know how many teams eliminated David due to size. Would Bill Parcells even talk to him? Tuna loves big guys. David bulked up to get to 6-1, 233. Not all teams will want that. Still, he’s a very good player.

      • Kammich

        Prior to the Combine, some teams were supposedly looking at him as an SS(you could see him fitting that spot in a place like St. Louis). He’s still not prototype size by any means, but I think fewer teams will consider his size an issue at 233 pounds considering there are a handful of successful 230-235 pound LBs in the league.

  • Cvd52
    • Cliff

      McNabb’s got a point.

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

      McNabb is right. Shannahan was only a good coach when he had Elway and he wont adapt his offense to fit the QB. See the success Denver got when they changed there offense to fit Tebow.

      • Cvd52

        yeah i agree

  • sa_eagles

    I don’t quite understand why we need to free up Asante’s cap number. Looking at eaglescap.com, we’re still sitting $15 million under the cap for this year, and looking forward the only two money players that are in the last year of their contracts are LeSean McCoy and DRC.

    I don’t really understand how we would effectively utilize another 9 million when free agency has pretty much dried up. I understand the notion that Asante’s 9 million looks like a lot, but it’s useless to free that money up if it isn’t going to be used for something better.

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

      We need it next year when his cap hit 11.5 mill. (McCoy+DRC should alone be around 16-17 mill cap hit next year) and players like Vick cap hit also increase alot next year

      • sa_eagles

        Sure, I understand that. However, if you’re trying to put together the best team for this year it doesn’t make sense to get rid of Asante and then sit millions of dollars under the cap with nothing to show for it. We don’t even know what the salary cap is going to be next year. No sense in handicapping ourselves this year, when we can just get rid of him at the end of this year if we need to.