mikeflorio

Why Mike Florio causes me shame as an Eagles fan…

I used to be one of Mike Florio’s biggest fans. Back in 2001 when he was just starting Pro Football Talk.com, he seemed dedicated to the truth and was edgy and compelling… Nobody seemed more devoted to bringing us the underbelly of the back-story about the NFL and the Eagles. It was revolutionary sports reporting. Now, it has seemingly degenerated into a “reality show” of unsubstantiated gossip and conjecture.

Mike Florio, attorney and ESPN analysyst, now 58… He is now a co-owner with NBC of his beloved Pro Football Talk.com… which since 2009 has turned into a quagmire of gossip and rumor, and which obfuscates the totality of a story for the sake of creating an instant internet buzz…

Did the big NBC money persuade Florio to abandon the pursuit of NFL truth at all costs? Perhaps…but probably it was the lure of being so popular among his growing audience that he decided to keep pushing the envelope in pursuit of mass ratings.

The recent Eagles story he covered is the one which convinced me Florio will use anybody and anything to achieve instant notoriety:

With Samuel, Eagles could be sizing up another sucker

Posted by Mike Florio on March 29, 2012

“Multiple and conflicting reports have emerged as to whether the Titans or the Lions will swing a trade with the Eagles for veteran cornerback Asante Samuel. Annnnnd roll the theme from The Sting.”

“The trades that sent A.J. Feely to Miami or the trade that sent Donovan McNabb to Washington or the trade that sent Kevin Kolb to Arizona or the trade that brought DeMeco Ryans to Philly showed that the Eagles know how to get the better of a transaction of this nature.  Thus, no one should give up anything significant in return for a 31-year-old cornerback due to make $9.9 million this year and $11.4 million next.”

“Though the pass-happy nature of the NFL puts a premium on defensive backs, if Samuel was a premium defensive back the Eagles wouldn’t have acquired a pair of defensive backs last season to render him unnecessary. And now the Eagles can’t afford Samuel, and they’re looking for a sucker who will take him off their hands.  History tells us that they’ll find one.”

Wow. That “report” is so unsound intellectually in so many ways, and is so football-ignorant, I cannot believe it comes from my old hero.

It is so bad and so inaccurate, even Giants fans were chiming in on the comments section of the Florio post:

“Well, that’s just inaccurate. The Eagles changed their defensive scheme, which prioritizes man coverage. Samuel is a zone corner, and in any case, Samuel was a highly effective corner, grading out +9.2 on the season according to ProFootballFocus. As a Giants fan, I will be very happy to see him leave the division.” —- The Smite of The Wicked

“The Eagles are currently $15 million under the cap and that is including Asante’s cap number. They can afford to keep Asante, but he is just not worth that amount of money with DRC and Nnamdi on the roster.” —-Pallidrone (another Giants fan)

“So? Asante is not Revis….but Asante is better than most CBs. Let’s look at some teams that he would immediately upgrade—
Bengals
Colts
Bills
Browns
Raiders
Titans
Cowboys
Bucs
Seahawks
AZ
Jags…” —- 7to10for6 (a Jets fan!!!)

“Yeah, right, teams should stop trading with the Eagles out of fear. Suuuuurreee. Thats a good idea.” —-b7p19 (another Giants fan!)

“1.) Samuel has said he is open to restructuring his contract to reduce his salary if it gets him traded, so you really can’t speculate as to whether someone should trade for him because you have no idea what he’ll cost them (salary-wise).”

“2.) The Eagles’ willingness to trade Samuel would seem to be more about his style of play rather than level of play. He has still been solid in recent years, but plays off the receiver at the line. Given that Asomugha and DRC play press coverage, it’s likely that he doesn’t fit what they want to do with their corners…so to say they are simply dumping him because he has nothing left is short-sighted, lazy, and less than logically sound. Would you want to keep someone who doesn’t fit the scheme that you want to run?”

“3.) Quarterback trades are a whole different ball game. Lots of NFL teams are desperately trying to find someone to be their franchise quarterback…the same is not true of CB’s. Hence, teams are willing to give up more if they think they’re getting back a franchise QB, but you expect that to translate directly into a trade for a 31-year old cornerback…please. You can’t compare how the Eagles did in QB trades to this situation. Similarly, absolutely nobody knows who really got the best of the DeMeco Ryans trade…everything at this point is pure speculation. While it’s likely that they got a great deal, it’s because he didn’t fit Houston’s scheme (the same way that Samuel doesn’t seem to fit Philly’s). However, nobody really knows until he plays a full season with the Eagles.”

“I wish you’d think through things a bit more before declaring ‘no one should give up anything significant in return’ for Samuel. Your logic is flawed, and it’s the kind of broad, absolute statements like the one you made in this article which make you appear absolutely ridiculous.” — P.J. Hurley (hey, an Eagles fan!)

I could go on with more expert witness testimony against Florio. But I hate to put the beatdown on a guy I once admired for his ability and willingness to work his arse off back in the early days of internet sports coverage to get a story right.

I’ll just leave you with this observation: Sure, the Eagles know how to get good value in trades, but that doesn’t mean Asante Samuel is a bust waiting to happen. The Eagles found a way to get DRC, who they feel can serve as a suitable replacement for Samuel at about a quarter of the price. A zone defense looking for a big play corner could do a lot worse than trade for Samuel…

Notable transactions around the league from yesterday (April 3, 2012)…

— Colts signed TE Kyle Miller (Jaguars) to a one-year deal, terms undisclosed…
— Jaguars re-signed TE Zach Potter to a one-year deal, terms undisclosed…
— Jaguars re-signed RB Brock Bolen to a one-year deal, terms undisclosed…
— Jets signed English/Aussie rugby star Hayden Smith to a one-year developmental deal, terms undisclosed…
— Raiders waived WR Derrick Jones….
— Chargers signed WR/PR Roscoe Parrish to a one-year deal, terms undisclosed…
— Titans signed DT Leger Douzable (Jaguars) to a one-year deal, terms undisclosed…
— Panthers re-signed LB/ST Jordan Senn to a one-year contract, terms undisclosed…
— Jaguars re-signed SS Courtney Greene to a one-year contract at $1.26 million….
— Vikings signed WR/KR Bryan Walters (Chargers) to a one-year deal, terms undisclosed…
— Giants signed DB/ST Stevie Brown (Colts) to a one-year contract, terms undisclosed…
— Rams signed LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (Saints) to a one-year contract, terms undisclosed…
— Tampa Bay re-signed WR Preston Parker to a one-year contract, terms undisclosed…
— Titans re-signed LB/ST Tim Shaw to a 3-year contract, terms undisclosed…
— Saints signed LB David Hawthorne (Seattle) to a 5-year deal worth a reported $20 million…
— Chiefs re-signed CB Travis Daniels to a 2-year deal, terms undisclosed…
— Panthers signed S Reggie Smith (49ers) to a 1-year contract, terms undisclosed…
Eagles signed LT Demetress Bell (Bills) to a 5-year contract worth a potential $35 million, with $10 million guaranteed…

Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.

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