The Sixers and the Eagles. Two Philadelphia teams. Two BIG offseason signings.
Asante Samuel: six years, $57 million
Elton Brand: five years, $82 million
Sixers: 40-42 (.488) in 2007-2008
Eagles: 8-8 (.500) in 2007
Both Brand and Samuel were considered to be their sport’s top offseason prize.
Which team made the better singing?
In 2007 the Eagles had an NFL worst 19 takeaways, only 11 interceptions, and failed to score a defensive touchdown.
Over the past two seasons Samuel alone had 16 interceptions. In 75 career games, Samuel has 22 interceptions and three defensive touchdowns.
In 2007-'08, the Sixers best option at the power forward position was Reggie Evans. Though Evans brought energy and rebounding, he also scored only 5.2 points per game. Not much of a lost post threat.
Brand gives the Sixers the half court, low-post threat they so desperately needed. Brand brings career averages of 20.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Brand is the power forward that will allow the Sixers to excel in the slowed down tempo of the playoffs.
Better Signing: Sixers
Did the Eagles signing Samuel really address an area of weakness for the Eagles?
Wasn’t the cornerback duo of Sheppard and Brown already one of the leagues' best? Don’t the Eagles have a bigger need at wide receiver? Would the Eagles have been better served putting the money towards Randy Moss in an offer that the Patriots could not have matched?
With an infusion of youth at linebacker, a return to health by Sheppard and Dawkins and no Samuel, the defense most likely would be dominant in 2008.
The offense, without a number one receiver, will again depend heavily on Westbrook and McNabb. Those two most likely won’t be enough to solve the team's red zone woes.
By adding Brand, the Sixers are able to maximize the talent on their roster.
Insert Brand as the starting power forward, bring Evans and his energy off the bench, slide Thaddeus Young to small forward, and move Andre Iguodala to shooting guard. Willie Green and Louis Williams join Evans as spark plugs off the bench.