One of the biggest storylines in the Philadelphia Eagles game against the Atlanta Falcons was the return of cornerback Asante Samuel, who played for the Eagles from 2008 to 2011. He earned a reputation as one of the best ballhawk cornerbacks in the league, but he was also universally regarded as a troublesome force in the locker room, and it became apparent that he was turning defensive players against rookie defensive coordinator Juan Castillo last season.
Plus his style of play, in which he preferred to gamble and jump routes, didn’t work out in Philly. So he was shipped to the Falcons for a seventh round pick following the 2011 season. I believe that if the Eagles hadn’t found a taker for Samuel, they would have cut him. Getting rid of him was about his attitude, salary, and style of play, not his decline (if he even is declining).
With the Falcons, Samuel has brought the same yapping and playmaking ability that he had with the Eagles. Against the Oakland Raiders in week seven, he returned an interception for a touchdown to give the Falcons a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter.
He didn’t contribute much in the win against the Eagles, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t talking. Courtesy of 700level, here is his interview in which he talks about how Reid wouldn’t speak to him after the game.
Samuel was asked about the difference between the Eagles and the Falcons? He said it’s coaching, and the fact that the Falcons run the football.