It seems likely that Asante Samuel has played his last game, last down, as an Eagle. Yes, he's still under contract, but so are Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
The Eagles tried DRC at the nickel slot this year and he seemed lost. When they moved him back outside, he looked much better.
The Eagles were unable to trade Samuel, much to the dismay of the former Pro Bowler. They'll probably try to trade him this off-season, which would allow Asomugha and DRC to play on the outside, with veteran Joselio Hanson filling up the slot position, where he has thrived.
In 14 games this past season, Samuel had three interceptions and 34 tackles. The three interceptions were his fewest since 2005 and his fewest in his four years as an Eagle. In the previous two years, Samuel had seven and nine interceptions respectively.
While his interception stats were down, according to ProFootballFocus.com, some other stats were up.
Overall, Samuel is ranked as the 12th best corner in football with a 9.2 rating.
Samuel also ranks second in the NFL when a quarterback throws at a certain corner. When opposing QBs throw at Samuel, they have a QB rating of 52.4. Darrelle Revis is on the top of the list with an opposing rating of 45.6.
Samuel is eighth on the list sorted by completion percentage. He was targeted 61 times for 29 receptions (47.5 percent).
Even with all of those stats, it's still hard to envision Samuel being back with the Eagles next season. The secondary just seems much stronger with Asomugha, Rodgers-Cromartie and Hanson than it would be with Samuel, which forces DRC out of position.
Eagles fans wouldn't miss his half-hearted attempts at tackling but would miss those big interceptions and returns, if he gets traded.
I'd miss his personality in the locker room. Once this season, he jokingly locked the media out of the locker room after practice -- said we were being too negative. The only problem: Mike Vick and a couple other players were stuck in the hallway with us. True story.
E-mail Dave Zangaro at firstname.lastname@example.org