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Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Turmoil Continues

Asante Samuel and Andy ReidThe NFL offseason turmoil for the Philadelphia Eagles continues. It looks like a war of words is beginning to escalate between Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Eagles CB Asante Samuel. Hey, at least Philly fans can take a break from the Donovan McNabb trade talk right?

In my 20+ years as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I can’t recall an offseason with this much turmoil since the birds let Reggie White leave to the Green Bay Packers. I don’t know if it is Andy Reid’s new job security or fear of the unknown, but Andy Reid’s house of cards is falling apart. In the midst of an offseason that has consisted of trading the franchise quarterback within the division, releasing Brian Westbrook, trading away their Pro Bowl cornerback, releasing his Pro Bowl offensive lineman, and oh yeah his inability to trade Michael Vick, Andy Reid now finds himself at odds with his highest paid defensive player, Asante Samuel.

[adinserter block=”1″]Andy Reid took a different tact with his defense. Reid called out Asante Samuel in a recent interview. Coach Reid who rarely publicly critiques his players said the following about the Philadelphia Eagles cornerback.

“I think Asante knows he needs to have a better year than what he had, even though he was a Pro Bowler,” “As good a player as he is, he can be even better,” Reid said. “And I think that’s the way he’s handling the offseason.” Andy Reid said an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Surprisingly, Andy Reid brought this on himself. Reid has always been a player’s coach in a sense that he rarely hangs his players out to dry. Even after two embarrassing back-to-back season ending losses to the Dallas Cowboys, Reid still proclaimed Donovan McNabb, “his guy.” I don’t think Asante Samuel is his guy and I definitely don’t think Andy Reid is Asante Samuel’s guy. Asante Samuel responded to Derrick Gunn by saying the following.

“The whole team needs to improve from the front office, to the head coach to the players,” Samuel told Derrick Gunn of CSNPhilly.com.

Guess what? He is right! I would personally like to thank Asante Samuel for having the courage to say what the entire city of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Eagles’ fans have been saying for the last two years. The Philadelphia Eagles’ offseason has been a complete and utter mess this year. Between the instability at quarterback and their inability to fill holes in free agency, this team has taken three steps backwards. Considering the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles’ last game was a 34-14 loss, that says a lot about the future of the team.

Speaking of that loss, Keith Brooking of the Dallas Cowboys recently made some very interesting remarks about that game. One of the biggest complaints I have had with the Philadelphia Eagles offense over the last few years is the predictability. Dallas Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking agrees. Keith Brooking said the following in a recent interview about the Eagles offense.

“The way we dominated them, obviously [Donovan] McNabb didn’t play his best, but they were very predictable,” Brooking said. “We knew exactly what was coming on every play. A lot of that didn’t have to do with Donovan McNabb.” We’ll see now won’t we?

[adinserter block=”2″]Thank you! Keep in mind Brooking is not the first opposing player to call the Eagles offense predictable. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out Andy Reid’s playbook. This is a huge issue for the team and something that Andy Reid is 100% responsible for. Again, this isn’t just a one-game situation. In the 2008-09 season, you could hear opposing players screaming, “screen” right before the Eagles called a screen pass. How Andy Reid earned a new contract in the offseason may be the biggest mystery since Jimmy Hoffa.

The bottom line here is that for Andy Reid to criticize Asante Samuel publicly, he is criticizing himself. Reid is the one who signed Asante Samuel to a six-year, $56 million deal. Reid did this at a time when he had both Sheldon Brown and Lito Sheppard under contract. Corner was not an immediate need for the Philadelphia Eagles. If Andy Reid has a problem with a player not performing up to his contract, Andy Reid should question Andy Reid for making that deal with a player who was known to have issues like this in New England.

In the last few seasons, Andy Reid’s acquisitions have been practically atrocious. Yes, Leonard Weaver was a great addition but does he makeup for the money wasted on Stacy Andrews, Jason Peters, Michael Vick, and a CB who can’t tackle? I don’t think so. As of now, it looks like 2010 could be the year that Andy Reid finally lost his team. Depending upon whether Kevin Kolb works out, this could be a permanent problem. In the words of Asante Samuel, it really is time for the Philadelphia Eagles to step up their game off of the field.

Personally, I would prefer to sacrifice a season or two as a fan if it meant seeing the end of Andy Reid. It’s enough and it is really time for him, his predictable offense, his offseason mismanagement, and his usual press conference charade to go. In the meantime it looks as if the Philadelphia Eagles may be losing some key Pro Bowl players in the process.

Finally, Philadelphia Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie said the following ironically at the press conference to announce the Eagles signing Asante Samuel two years ago.

“I never want to be the type of organization or owner that doesn’t keep reloading or going for it,” he said. “You’re always going to have a chance to make mistakes by taking risks. Keep going for it.”

If this is going for it, the Philadelphia Eagles are in more trouble than I thought.

Thanks to ProFootballTalk.com for the tip!

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Asante should be traded on the day of the draft to several suitors that come to mind. A 3rd rounder would do fine. Trevor Laws needs to go too. Michael Vick also needs to go for a 3rd or 4th rounder. The Eagles have a cornerback that was drafted to fill a need at free safety. He is a fast and physical hitter who needs to go back to his natural position of cornerback. That will leave Ellis Hobbs and Macho Harris. The 1st round, the Eagles should target Kyle Wilson. He has all the tools needed to be a really good corner in this league and will be able to start from day 1. Marlin Jackson can also put back in the CB too if needed after we draft Nate Allen in the 2nd round. Asante is more of a headache than is needed at this point. He tackles like a girl and is more worried about getting the interception than covering. The Eagles will be fine this year. The problem with most Eagles fans is they believe you have to have a probowler at every position. You don't. You have to have good players on your team. The Eagles have a lot of young talent now on the team and its about to get younger and better. The Eagles will be fine without Mcnabb too. He was on the downhill slide of his career. If he is so great, then where were all the teams knocking on the Eagles door? 3 teams? Seriously? We traded him within the division because Reid believes he can beat him twice a year. I am glad the Eagles purged, but I think there is more to do.

  2. EG, I think turmoil is a bit of a heavy word. So far, I don’t have too many problems with what the Eagles have done, because when you look at them a little harder, they make sense–long term business sense. McNabb is about to turn 34 and is in the final year of his contract. He has missed the end of three out of the last 5 season due to injury, and has not been able to lead the team to a Superbowl win. The Eagles clearly had to make a decision at this juncture in his career as to whether they wanted to a) commit to him and try to re-sign him, b) if not, then let him walk with no compensation at the end of the season, or c) try to maximize his value in acquiring draft picks by trading him. Now–if the Eagles wanted to resign him to an extension, there is no doubt McNabb would have asked for a minimum of 3 years, and would have expected to be paid as a top three NFL quarterback–meaning he would have probably wanted somewhere in the vicinity of $15-20 million a year with at least 50% guaranteed. That’s a pretty big chunk of change for an aging quarterback who hasn’t been able to get it done, and takes away from the money available to sign the large # of draft picks the Eagles have acquired. If the Eagles were either unable or unwilling to re-sign him, then he either gets franchised (costing them more), or he walks for nothing. That makes absolutely no sense. So, it was left to have to trade him for what the Eagles could get. Definitely not popular, but necessary. Draft picks make more sense, so the Eagles did what they "had to do." Now, as far as trading him the Skins–I don’t like it, but it is coming out now through the media that McNabb had certain places he was "willing to go". If the Eagles had made the decision to trade him, then they had to trade him for the best deal they could get–regardless of division. McNabb was going to veto Oakland and Buffalo, and St Louis is hot for Bradford, so the Eagles had to take the best they could get–again, not popular but necessary. You can’t make business decision with your heart–it has to be with your head.

    As for the releases–they all make sense. It was clear that Westbrook was questioning his commitment to pro football after the concussions, and nobody has picked him up yet–perhaps lending some credence to that opinion. Dawkins was missed on the field last year only when injuries thinned the lineup, and while he was definitely missed in the locker room, his skills are declining and he did nothing special last season for a very average Denver team. Sheldon Brown wanted out last year and the Eagles maximized his tradability by making him play to earn a trade–if he had malingered, he wouldn’t have been able to go ANYWHERE, so they used him for what he was worth. Vick will end up being a good pick up, and the Eagles got him for nothing. Andrews has underperformed and has had too much drama around him for too long. Peters was just as adequate as Thomas and Runyan–both of whom are not impact NFL players anymore (Runyan is going into politics), so they didn’t really lose anything there. As for Samuel–Reid is right…he DOES need to play better. Asante did not live up to the hype. I think he was good sign at the time, perhaps a bit overpaid, but he does need to play better. The Eagles desire is to use the commodity of their players to help them perpetuate the ability to be competitive in a fluctuating league. Even without McNabb, the reality is that the Eagles should still be a playoff contender which is no worse than what they were last year–and now they are the youngest team in the league, have 5 draft picks in the top 87, and all the cash they need to sign each one of them, rather than having it all tied up in a couple of aging, underperforming veterans, that we just want here because we like them. Like I said before–you have to make BUSINESS decisions (and the NFL is a BUSINESS) with your head and not your heart. Any team can get great for a year–the Eagles have proven over time that they can stay competitive and make the proper decisions year after year. Just cause they aren’t popular with the fans, doesn’t mean they are wrong.

  3. How was the acquisition of Jason Peters a bad pick up? He has dominated at the LT spot for the past 2 years. A. Samuel was bad at tackling last year, but he was also a front runner for the most interceptions in the NFL last season. Asante's bad tackling went unnoticed because Philly had a good safety that could cover over the top. Philly let their safety go and Samuel's game has suffered. If Philly can secure a premier safety I expect Philly's dissatisfaction with Samuel will disappear. The fact remains in big games A. Samuel makes big plays. That's more than we can say for McNabb.

    • Dominated? Did you watch all of the philly games last year? He had a few good games but he was beaten quite a bit through the season. His last season in Buffalo was also below average.

  4. Great point! I think Andy is on the hot seat somewhat now, especially if you believe the reports that he didn't want to trade Donovan, but lost the battle/vote to Banner and Roseman. What I find fascinating is that with all of the roster turnover and the departure of so many older guys, now is the perfect time for the team to ask the fans for a little patience as they rebuild with younger guys. But they are talking as if they are going to be same team they've always been. To me that's a recipe for a disaster. Maybe I'm wrong and they'll be young and good, but the odds aren't in their favor. So why not re-set expectations just a little? To me that's the arrogance of the front office, thinking that every move they make is going to turn into gold.

  5. No problem. When I read your blog, I e-mailed to it a buddy with a note that said "No, I did not write this under a pseudonym." That's because you made a lot of the same points I've been making to him and fellow Eagles fans over the past couple of years. I feel your frustration. I've been bleeding Eagles green for more than 35 years. I believe Reid is the best coach we've ever had, but like you I think it's time for a change there, too. But it does scare me to think that ultimately Banner and Roseman will be making that decision. I don't have a lot of faith in those two.

    • I think that's the big disconnect. It is easy for someone on the outside to judge us as Eagles fans, but they can't grasp the entirety of the last several years unless they are in our shoes. It is funny because as I have written in the past, coaches who have won Super Bowls have gotten run out of town or fired and yet the though of getting rid Reid gets everyone outside of Philly in an uproar.

      I feel your pain!

  6. I read through this a couple of times just to be sure and I don't see where the writer is calling Reid a bum or a loser. He's talking specifically about this off-season and the turmoil that exists. There are way too many Eagles fans who go to the extremes on these types of things and saying Reid is a bum who never accomplished anything or McNabb is a bum who never accomplished anything. That's wrong. Together, they helped bring this team out of the dumps to becoming a perennial contender. I don't think it's an even close argument that they are both the best the Eagles have had at their jobs. Both fell short when it came to bringing a SB to Philly, but most of what I read on other sites is fans blaming only McNabb for just about all of our failures. I didn't want him to go, but my point was if McNabb has to go, Reid should go with him because he is just as, if not more responsible for our failures. Reid is the primary playcaller and always has been (OK, others have had the title, but why is it that our playcalling has been so predictable? because Reid at the least influences the plays that are called). He has always had the final say in personnel whether determining whom we should draft, whom we should trade or whom we should sign as a free agent. So I think it's absolutely fair to criticize Reid, but do it with the right perspective. He has been good, but not good enough to win it all. That's the reason Donovan is now a Redskin. So why is Reid, who has been captain of the ship during this entire run, still here?

    • Thank you very much DW for the comment. I think it is funny because the critics of this blog haven't pointed to anything specifically that I said which was wrong. It is much easier to insult me than to argue my points. I have been bleeding green for over 20 years and I am just tired of Reid and the Reid regime. Sheldon Brown was on WIP this morning and talked about the lack of chemistry in the locker room with Brian Dawkins leaving and while not mentioning names, made a remark about Asante Samuel. That is all on Reid. But hey, why argue facts?

  7. I like what the guy " Youre a joke says: " is saying!

    You might run this blog but, just because it's your blog you can't tell people to stop reading it because they don't agree with you. What are you a dictator?

    Why would you ever tell someone to ….

    "Do me a favor and stop reading my blog. I don’t have time to waste on your comments when you ignore the facts over your fandom."

  8. Hey Eric and the Camel Clutch Blog!

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  9. PS inbetween classes at grad school, so I'll gladly kill time pissing you off and trashing every point you make

    • Until I get tired of approving them:). It also says quite a bit about you that you would become that obsessive with a blog you think is trash. Keep coming, it boosts my traffic numbers.

  10. A- You did

    B- With that mindset, your article should be about lurie and not reid, bc hes the top of the line

    C- I'm sure Heckert, Johnson, and several others had input, not all andy reid

    D- If the cowboys turn around from a 44-6 loss, then your point of a 34-14 loss having a glimpse future is just terrible

    E- I'd rather go into every game thinking the eagles could win, than half of the teams in the NFL so clearly their front office is doing their jobs well.

    F- You're still terrible. It's bandwagon, "know-it-all" fans who write blogs but won't ever be in position to make anythign they believe in happen. Being a loyal fan is what being a fan is about. Its not about supporting the team only when they win the championships, its about being there when bobby hoying is qb and still rooting equally.

    PS You're still terrible

  11. I agree with the author here in that the eagles made some big mistakes this offseason. At the same time, if you're planning to replace your franchise QB there is some logic in starting with a fresh slate all around. If the team builds around a group of young players, they can grow together as a team. We all know that a team full of veteran high power superstars don't always translate into superbowls, because prima dona superstars don't always have a team first mentality.

    While I'm not entirely certain I agree that this offseason was a complete disaster, it's success or failure does depend on what Andy Reid does to plug all the holes on Defense and the offensive line. If he gets some reasonable players from the draft, and Kevin Kolb turns out to be a solid QB, I think this team has another shot at the playoffs. The eagles have some serious weapons on offense, so even if the offense is average, a playoff berth for the eagles is not out of the question by any stretch.

    For all the gloom and doom out there regarding andy reid we've got to keep in mind that he has always had one of the most potent offenses in the league. Not only that, he has taken his team to countless playoff appearances, NFC championship games and a superbowl. Andy has flaws, but he is far from a loser.

    It's my opinion that Andy trades his stars too soon. The philosophy has kept the Eagles a perennial contender for the past decade, because it's freed up the resources to keep a stock of younger talent waiting in the wings. However, the younger talent hasn't always been as good as the stars they've replaced (at least not right away). We see that with the safety position now after the dawkins trade. So while this long term approach has kept the Eagles in the playoffs each year, I believe it's prevented them from achieving their ultimate goal which is a superbowl win. Think what this team would be like with all the new offensive weapons if they had kept Dawkins, McNabb, and Brown this year. Yeah they'd have to fill a few holes, but this would be one scary team.

  12. "In the last few seasons, Andy Reid’s free agent moves have been practically atrocious. Yes, Leonard Weaver was a great addition but does he makeup for the money wasted on Stacy Andrews, Jason Peters, Michael Vick, and a CB who can’t tackle?"

    • He makes up for the money wasted on Jason Peters' contract. I said money wasted, not "money wasted on free agents; Jason Peters, etc, etc." Really, are you going to waste your Thursday morning parcing my words?

  13. Assante Samuel wants to play flag football, Reid wants a tough defense. The Pats let Samuel walk for much of the same.

    • Agreed. Great cover but the guy doesn't want to tackle. I was really hoping that they would trade McNabb for Namdi Asmouga. The two of them together would have been unbelievable.

  14. First of all, Andy Reid doesn't call all the plays so how is he 100% of the problem. I respect mcnabb for everything, but of course youre going to set all the franchise records when youre here for 11 years and your playcallers (not just reid, marty, childress, mcnabbs audibles) do nothing but pass the ball… Asante is over-rated, he gets picks but gambles to much and tackles like a school girl. Who cares what Brooking said, if a "34-14 loss is an indication of our future" then how do you explain the 44-6 loss the cowboys ended last year with? Youre arguments are aweful… Peters wasn't a FA move, he was a trade, Andrews although did not contribute last year, was coming off of an injury and should be better this year, although we probably did overpay… Jump on the complaining-bandwagon some more… If you dont like what this team is doing, then don't be a fan. I dont agree with everythign theyre doing, but I'm not going to call out the front office that has signed, drafted, and traded for the players that have gotten us to 5 NFC champs in 11 years. You're a spoiled fan who knows nothing about the business side of football. I'm assuming you wanted dansby, peppers, etc this offseason right? haha stop posting your opinion, no one cares. YB is going downhill fast..

    • Obviously you care because you wrote me. A – I never said Jason Peters was a free agent. But he was given a new contract that was a big waste of money. Watch the games last year, the guy was a turnstyle and incredibly overrated. He was bust! Funny how you try and point out an error in my writing rather than addressing the facts of the story. Convenient for you, but you are wrong. B – Andy Reid may not call all of the players but he runs that offense. He is the head coach and he hires the coordinators. Even Donovan on the way out took shots at the team for not running the ball. C – I agree with you that Asante is overrated WHICH FALLS BACK ON ANDY REID. D – Who cares what Brooking says? He is not the first opposing player to accuse the Eagles of this. How do I explain that game? It was a different season, different players, different time. E – 5 NFC champions in 11 years and 3 losses in NFC title games they were favored in. 5 NFC titles, big deal. The last time I looked the object of an NFL season was to win a Super Bowl not your conference title. A spoiled fan? By what, five NFC titles? You are blinded by fan loyalty and it is people like you that continue going to games and blindly supporting the team that got Andy Reid a new deal and will continue the years of Reid and his inability to win a big one.

      Do me a favor and stop reading my blog. I don't have time to waste on your comments when you ignore the facts over your fandom.

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