The Philadelphia Eagles were a huge disappointment last season. After a summer spent adding high-profile pieces through free agency and trades, the team sputtered and spun its wheels and ended the 2011 campaign on the wrong side of the postseason. Most of the blame for this was assigned to the defense, which was originally thought to have been an area of strength after the team acquired cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rogers-Cromartie. In an effort to shake things up, and see exactly what they have in Rogers-Cromartie, the team traded Pro Bowl corner Asante Samuel to the Falcons, receiving only a seventh round pick in return.

In response to this seemingly lopsided trade, Philly Daily News columnist Marcus Hayes filed a hit piece titled “In Samuels Trade, Birds Toss a No-Hitter,” and it is easily one of the stupidest pieces of sports journalism I have ever read. Join me, won’t you, for a little round of Fun with Marcus Hayes.

The Eagles traded Samuel to the Falcons for the 229th overall pick in this weekend’s draft, apparently because a bag of hammers was way too much to ask.

The hammers hit a lot harder than Samuel ever did.

To be perfectly clear: Hammers are made of metal, and when they are swung with force they are capable of driving another piece of metal into a block of wood. Asante Samuel is made of skin and bones and other icky inside stuff, and if you swing him at a nail he will bleed everywhere and maybe die. OF COURSE hammers hit harder than Asante Samuel.

NOTE: These are the third and fourth sentences of the column.

For each of his 23 interceptions as an Eagle, Samuel missed five tackles.

For every pick he turned into six, he gave up 10 touchdowns.

For every pass he deflected, he ate a dozen burritos. For each of his 56 games in uniform as an Eagle, 4,000 Malaysian children were eaten by pterodactyls. These and other made-up statistics brought to you by The Institute of Jackassery.

Asante Samuel was a fraud, wrapped in a mirage, inside an illusion.

… all rolled up into a ball and stuffed into an enigma, then sauteed in butter until it was golden brown, and finished off in the oven at 375 for an hour. Frank Bruni declared it the entree of the season!

Really, how can a guy named Asante play tough? And what does Samuel’s breathy first name mean, anyway?

And what’s the deal with butterflies? I mean, they’re not even made of butter. Where did they get the name? I call them gay bees.

Samuel was a poor influence on his little buddy, third-year franchise back LeSean McCoy. Now, McCoy can grow up amid a group of selfless, determined professionals; he stands a real chance of maturing into something better than a Ricky Watters redux.

Yeah, thank God they got rid of that Super Bowl champion and perennial Pro Bowler. Now LeSean McCoy can learn under the tutelage of noted selfless, determined professionals like DeSean Jackson and Michael Vick. Good riddance, I say.

All that said, fully expect for Samuel to make lots of noise in the 404. The Falcons are well-suited to exploit the remnants of his talents.

Samuel will play opposite Dunta Robinson, the ferocious cheap-shotter fined each of the past two seasons for illegal hits to Eagles top receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. The Falcons don’t need to get any tougher.

And they didn’t.

Take that, ATLANTA. Now your starting corners are a huge goon and a giant pussy. So sayeth ME, Marcus Hayes.

If anyone had any inkling that Samuel would unlock the key to picking off NFL quarterbacks, would he have played at Central Florida? This was a Fort Lauderdale kid, and he played college ball in Orlando – not in Tallahassee or Gainesville or Coral Gables.

Jerry Rice grew up in Mississippi. He went to Mississippi Valley State University, not Ole Miss or Alabama. He set this many NFL records. Marcus Hayes is an idiot.

Given his shortcomings, Samuel, with 45 career picks, probably needs 15 or 20 more to be seriously considered for the Hall. He is only 31, and, given his aversion to contact, he is a low-mileage 31. If he plays only five more seasons, he could wind up with 60 picks, maybe 70.

That would put him up there with hitmen like Night Train Lane, an orphaned factory worker and Army vet, and Rod Woodson, who used to run windsprints on a treadmill after training-camp double sessions.

Still, enough interceptions might get Samuel fitted for that golden jacket. His bust will be displayed in Deion’s corner.

Lesson: Only Army veteran orphans and Rod Woodson are eligible for the Hall of Fame. Also, there is apparently an entire corner for weak-tackling ballhawks that is named after Deion Sanders.

To be clear, Asante actually means “thank you” in Swahili.

Samuel should send a bouquet to the Eagles. On the card, he should inscribe:

Asante. Asante, very much.

Ugh. Go jump in a lake, Marcus Hayes.

Photo Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE