THE TRADE of @pick_six22 returned a seventh-rounder.
It's the most significant return Asante Samuel has made in years.
So begins Daily News columnist Marcus Hayes, who blasted the former Eagles cornerback in today's edition of the tabloid. Hayes takes Samuel to task in every way imagineable, suggesting his production was fraudulent (For every pick he turned into six, he gave up 10 touchdowns), criticizing his brand of football (The two Eagles cornerbacks who remain ... can now play real NFL defense), and labeling him a malcontent (Always, the mouth; always, running).
He even pokes fun at the man's name. That's a little over the top.
The tirade is a major departure from the other writers who cover the team, many of whom wished Samuel well at his next stop, while reflecting on what a fun personality he was to cover. Fans were singing a different tune as well, primarily upset over the meager return of a seventh-round pick, but some lamenting the loss of the defense's best corner for the last four years.
Yet Hayes may have struck a chord with a certain segment of readers as well, because there is some truth in what he's preaching. Samuel's "Charmin-soft" style of play was certainly frustrating at times. He is as unwilling a tackler as you'll ever see, while his freelancing tended to make the players around him look worse. And some folks will never come to accept the brash confidence professional athletes like Samuel are prone to exhibit.
These parting shots are a reminder that Samuel was never universally accepted here. As loud as the outcry is for essentially giving away a four-time Pro Bowler, there is also a reason the Eagles couldn't make it work with Asante, despite their trying last season.
>> In Samuel trade, Birds toss a no-hitter [DN]