The internet was abuzz on Wednesday with speculation that the Tennessee Titans were nearing an agreement with the Philadelphia Eagles on a trade that would net the Titans cornerback Asante Samuel. But one of the more respected beat writers in the National Football League, Jim Wyatt, disputes both those reports and the idea that the Titans are even all that interested in the 10th-year pro.
Wyatt, who covers the Titans for The Tennessean, took to Twitter on Thursday to pour some cold water on the idea that Samuel could be headed to Nashville:
Wyatt goes into more detail in a report for The Tennessean, stating that not only is the price tag that the Eagles are reportedly seeking a bit steep for the Titans' tastes, but so is Samuel's salary:
The Titans aren’t on the verge of trading for Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel, and any interest in the four-time Pro Bowler is lukewarm at best. On Wednesday night, CSNPhilly.com reported a deal between the Titans and Eagles could be reached within the next few days.
Don’t hold your breath.
It’s no secret that Samuel is on the trading block. I suspect the Eagles talked to teams at the owner’s meetings in Florida earlier this week. But the Titans, despite losing cornerback Cortland Finnegan in free agency, won’t give up a conditional third-round pick, as the report suggested. And despite Samuel’s willingness to re-do his deal, the Titans won’t be willing to pay him a hefty price either.
Wyatt's statements jibe with a Thursday report by the Philadelphia Inquirer's Les Bowen, who wrote that not only does he not believe a deal will happen any time soon, but that Eagles GM Howie Roseman didn't shed much light on the subject during a recent radio appearance:
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman appeared on 94WIP today, but was not asked directly about the Comcast report. He referred to calls being "ongoing" RE trades in general, which was not particularly helpful.
My thinking is that these sorts of trades seem to happen near or during the draft, for some reason - maybe a team is hoping to get a corner in the first couple rounds, doesn't, and thinks, "What the heck, will the Eagles take a fourth-rounder now for Asante?"
I think that's probably the price. "Conditional third-rounder," predicated on Asante making the Pro Bowl next season or something, would be good value. I'll be a little surprised if this Titans thing happens, at least anytime soon.
The Tennessee Titans, coming off a 9-7 2011 campaign that gave fans of the team some hope for the future, are a squad that's trying to get better while also getting younger. So it makes sense that the Titans would have limited interest in giving up an early-round pick to acquire a 31-year-old cornerback who is set to make over $20 million over the next two seasons, no matter how good Samuel might be in coverage.
While there's always a chance that the cost of Samuel's services (both financially and in compensation to the Eagles) could drop to the point that the Titans' interest in Samuel will heat up, it appears that pre-ordering that Asante Samuel jersey in Titans blue may have been jumping the gun a bit, as Wyatt closes his report with a statement that throws the coldest water of all on the Samuel to Tennessee talk: "Will Samuel join the fold? I doubt it."
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