Trade Sheppard and you've negated a significant portion of the impact of bringing in Samuel. Yeah, you've added a slightly bigger, slightly better, much more durable playmaking corner on the left side. But that still leaves you with Brown on the right side instead of in the slot, where he's always been more effective.
Brown is a tough, hard-working overachiever who hasn't missed a game in his career. But he hasn't played particularly well the last two seasons, particularly on the outside.
I think you'll find little argument that a secondary which includes Asante, Lito, and Sheldon is bound to be one of the best groups in the NFL. Keeping Lito would also allow the Eagles to experiment that fantasy Eagles fans have always had about using Sheldon Brown as a safety. Domowich suggests using Brown in a safety role in the base defense and as a nickel corner when the opposition goes 3 wide. I'd find that kind of creativity from Jim Johnson very interesting...
But of course, on the other side of the aisle are the many reasons trading Lito could make more sense. First and foremost you have the fact that he's missed 14 games over the past 3 years. Can you trust him to stay healthy. You have the reports that he's unhappy with his contract, something signing Asante Samuel to a giant deal isn't likely to help. Most importantly, you have the prospect of what trading Lito Sheppard would get in return.
In my eyes, that's the key here. I agree with Domowich that I'd like to see a trio of Samuel, Lito, and Brown back there. I think that does make for a hell of a secondary... but would Samuel, Brown, and an impact player on offense be preferable? Would those two and some high picks that could contribute other places on the team be preferable?
You tell me. Keep Lito or trade him? If you wanna trade him, tell me what you'd accept back for him.
Personally, I'd trade him for an impact receiver. If we were just getting picks in return, I might have to say no. It would depend on what picks they were, but they'd have to pretty good for me to give up the kind of depth we'd have in the secondary by keeping Lito and I doubt any team is offering us a first round pick for him.