The Most Ridiculous Rumor You'll Read, Ever

There is no name attached to this authoritative report:

A rumor has started circulating deep (extremely deep) inside the Eagles organization that talks with the Vikings about the availability of Percy Harvin is picking up.

The Eagles have been working out punter Brad Maynard just in case the Vikings ask for the services of Chas Henry in return, which is highly expected. The Vikings have had an eye on Henry for the past couple hours, but have yet to see tapes. But, from what they’ve heard and seen on league message boards, they can’t go wrong.

Could the Eagles Be Interested in Colt McCoy?

Jason Brewer speculates as to whether the Eagles might be looking at acquiring Colt McCoy on the cheap:

McCoy was a third round pick in 2010 and has started 25 games over his first two seasons in the league. He hasn’t been particularly good, but he is still young, he didn’t have a lot of help in Cleveland and he might benefit from a little Reid/Mornhinweg attention. And if it is true that he could be had for next to nothing, might he better extra QB than Trent Edwards?

Truth be told, that’s what I wanted the Eagles to do instead of drafting another mid-round QB like Nick Foles. McCoy is a poor man’s Kevin Kolb, but at least he has significant starting experience in a similar offense. The problem is that, barring injury, there’s no room for another McCoy on the roster.

Sale in Aisle 22

Mike Klis, the Denver Post:

The Broncos have expressed interest in acquiring Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel, according to two NFL sources. However, the Broncos no longer believe they can strike a deal, even though trade talks advanced to the stage where the team presented two proposals — one for a late-round draft pick and the other involving a player.

5th or 6th round pick for a Pro Bowl corner like Samuel? Considering they received offers in the second round range last year, this could end up being even more of a disaster than it was already. I’ll withhold complete judgement until we see the actual deal go down, but this is a real indictment of Howie Roseman.

On the Eagles Trading Up in the First Round

Eagles Fans Draft

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Except when it comes to the NFL draft, in which case the smoke may be planted ten miles away to distract everyone from the actual blaze.

If you ask me, that’s what’s going on with all these rumors about the Eagles moving high up in the draft. First there was the report saying the team was in the hunt to move up to the fourth overall pick. Then there’s this nugget, from National Football Post’s Dan Pompei:

A buzz is building in NFL front offices that the Eagles are going to take a quarterback fairly high. If they don’t make a move for Ryan Tannehill in round one, the Eagles could wait until the second round and go after Kirk Cousins or Brandon Weeden. Such a move could indicate the Eagles have concerns about Michael Vick’s ability to stay healthy and how he fits in Andy Reid’s offense.

First of all, there is ample evidence to suggest the Eagles aren’t finished at quarterback. Mike Kafka is no sure-thing backup, and Trent Edwards didn’t receive more than the most token endorsement from Andy Reid as the third-stringer. They might be looking to draft another quarterback to develop or pick up another veteran.

But why would the Eagles move up to get Tannehill? He’s way overvalued as a top ten pick, and there’s no reason for the team to mortgage most of their draft to reach for a guy like that. To get up to the Browns pick, for example, would require three-quarters of the cost the Redskins paid for the rights to RG3 and you probably wouldn’t get half as good of a player.

Moreover, if the team really was interested in moving up to get Tannehill or drafting one of the other quarterbacks a little bit later on, it would be in their interest to keep such thoughts to themselves.

All of which brings us to Peter King, who Tommy noted yesterday is quite the Eagles prognosticator:

The Eagles don’t want to trade up from 15 to anywhere between three and eight. It’d cost too much, and I sense their interest in Tannehill has been overstated. Philadelphia has sniffed around the quarterback position through the offseason, which could be a sign they’ve cooled on Michael Vick as their long-term solution at the position, and the Eagles have been linked to the Texas A&M quarterback because they sent quarterback coach Doug Pederson to the school to work out Tannehill two weeks ago. The Eagles might pay something to move up for Tannehill, but it won’t be much, and the move won’t be far.

I think it’s interesting that King pegged ninth overall as being the highest the Eagles would be likely to trade up. That probably has something to do with the Dolphins pick at eight being about as far as Tannehill is likely to drop, but more importantly, the Eagles can move up that high using just one of their second round picks.

If I were sitting at 15, I’d probably be content to see how the first eight picks shake out. Three quarterbacks are likely to go that high, which could leave one or more elite position players within striking distance. If not, Howie Roseman can still watch the board and jump ahead of any team he thinks might be targeting his top player (say, Fletcher Cox).

The rest is just smoke.

Photo from Getty.

Rule the Eagles Out for the Fourth Overall Pick

Mary Kay Cabot, for the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

At least three or four teams in the top 20 have expressed interest in trading up, and the Browns are expected to have some enticing options on draft day.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher, who has the No. 6 pick, has already identified the Browns as a potential trade partner, and the Eagles at No. 15 are believed to be interested in trading up, sources said. At least two other teams are in the mix.

The Browns are trying to drum up interest in their pick and the Eagles are a logical team to use for that purpose. Don’t buy it.

Hey Asante! You're the Best Ever Of All Time

Jimmy Kempski:

So Asante Samuel found an article I wrote about him. And apparently, he liked it. Thanks, Asante. I love you too.

What about me, Pres? This wasn’t good enough for ya? Then again, there was this and this.

Is Trading Asante Samuel the Right Move?

Asante Samuel

Everyone knows an Asante Samuel trade will happen some time in the next few weeks, if not days. Andy Reid and Howie Roseman barely even provide us real denials any more. But let’s not kid ourselves here. The Samuel trade was inevitable as soon as the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha last August.

With two massive salaries at the cornerback position, and another starting-caliber player in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, this was never fated to last. In fact, it’s amazing the three players lasted this long. If not for some stubbornness on Howie Roseman’s behalf regarding compensation for Samuel, the live-wire cornerback could easily have watched the Eagles founder in 2011 from a safe distance.

That said, there has been a significant undercurrent of opinion since last summer that argues that the Eagles shouldn’t trade Samuel. That cause got a boost yesterday, when Aaron Schatz at Football Outsiders released their 2011 cornerback charting stats, including the numbers for the Eagles top four corners:

Football Outsiders Eagles Cornerback Data

If you read the entire post, you can see that Asante not only ranks at the top of Eagles corners, but one of the best in the NFL last season. Passes that go his way just don’t end up with a lot of yardage, something that was also true last year.

But statistics are never that simple; the matter of targets complicated things. The Football Outsiders data also shows that Samuel was targeted nearly twice as much as Asomugha. As Sheil Kapdia wrote today, Pro Football Focus has similar findings. Clearly, opponents would rather pick on Samuel than his counterpart.

At this point, you’re looking at statistics that come to opposite conclusions: do you want the guy who is rarely targeted but gives up more yardage, or the guy who’s targeted often but doesn’t give up big plays?

Regardless, keeping both certainly didn’t work. It made everyone worse, because Roseman and company didn’t see realize how different each of the three players are, and how much Juan Castillo was incapable of finding any arrangement that made them all happy. It was a mess.

The right move was probably to not sign Asomugha in the first place, but that’s over with now. At this point, trading Samuel isn’t necessary the right move, but it is the only move. It’s unclear which corner — Nnamdi or Asante — is the better player, but they can’t coexist (at least with Castillo as coordinator). Time to get what you can for Samuel and hope that Asomugha can stave off his decline, and DRC can live up to his potential playing on the outside.

We’ll miss the self-proclaimed Pres, but there’s really no other choice.

Photo from Getty.

McLane Updates Details of Failed Asante Trade

Jeff McLane:

In fact, [Samuel] was part of the process after the Eagles and Lions agreed to an exchange that would have netted the Birds two second-day draft picks. That deal, though, fell apart for reasons other than draft compensation.

Back in January, McLane said Detroit offered one second round pick, and that the deal fell apart when Howie Roseman demanded a first rounder. Well, either way that was a poor decision.