Make no mistake about it, this team was in desperate need of a playmaker on defense. They needed a guy that creates turnovers and they got one. The best part, he never gets hurt!
Now, this is only the first step. Obviously the Eagles need to get someone in here to create more pressure on the passer. Certainly they hope that will be Victor Abiamiri and they have a pass rush specialist in Clemons on the way in tomorrow. Plus there's always the draft....
There's still work that needs to be done on the offensive side of the ball, but clearly the Eagles are going with the "defense wins championships" mindset. I'm sure we'll all be interested to see what if any weapons they give McNabb however. Interestingly enough, McNabb was interviewed on ESPN after the Samuel signing was made official and he repeatedly told the interviewer to "stay tuned" and that they were "just getting started."
First and foremost, Lito Sheppard is as good as gone. There were some reports today that the Eagles plan was to keep Sheppard and move Sheldon Brown to safety... but after I heard Andy Reid say this during today's presser:
"He'll(Samuel) be the starting left corner and then we'll work things out from there as we go."
It became pretty obvious to me that Lito is done. Andy was asked directly where Samuel fit into the secondary and that was his response. If his plan was to move Sheldon to safety and keep Lito, he'd have said it there. Samuel also said something to the effect of "whoever is out there" he'll work with, which makes me think the Eagles made Samuel privy to some of their plans this offseason.
So what would Lito fetch? He's a two time pro bowler that is an unquestioned playmaker when he's healthy. That's always the caveat with Lito, when he's healthy. Still, he's not that old and he still should have plenty of value with the dearth of free agent CBs this offseason.
Now it should be said. Player for player trades are very rare in the NFL. So I would think it's probably a stretch to think that the Eagles will go out and swap Lito for a WR and go on their merry way. It's much more likely that Lito gets dealt for draft picks or as part of a package to move up in April's draft.
To those hoping for a big name WR in trade for Lito, this afternoon I was listening to Anthony Gargano on WIP and he said that he'd heard pretty unequivocally that guys that Roy Williams and Larry Fitzgerald are not available. He said many times he'd love to have those guys but his contacts told him there was no shot. Either way, I wouldn't be surprised to see this other shoe drop pretty quickly. I can't imagine they let Lito dangle on the roster until late April. Something is going to happen soon.