Falcons acquire Samuel from Eagles
The Sports Xchange
--The Falcons acquired Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel from the Philadelphia Eagles for a seventh-round pick in this
Samuel restructured his contract as part of the
trade, agreeing to a three-year, $18.5 million contract with Atlanta.
His contract with the Eagles would've paid him $9.9 million in 2012 and
$11.4 million in 2013.
"Asante has established himself as a very
productive player during his career. He is a proven player in this
league and we feel that this move upgrades the talent of our roster and
improves our football team," said general manager Thomas Dimitroff in a
The 31 year old is a four-time Pro Bowler. He
gives new Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan a strong trio at
cornerback with Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes. Samuel became
expendable when the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha and acquired
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie last July. Philadelphia couldn't find a
suitable deal then for Samuel, so they kept him and moved
Rodgers-Cromartie to the nickel spot.
"We just improved our team today," said Falcons
coach Mike Smith. "Asante Samuel is a good football player and you can
never have enough good players on your team. Our game has become more
of a passing game, and you have to have the players who can neutralize
how offenses are trying to attack you."
The Eagles reportedly came close to trading Samuel
to the Lions in October and other deals with the Broncos and Titans
this offseason never neared completion.
Atlanta hasn't received a good return from the
signing of Robinson, who turned 30 earlier this month and has just
three interceptions over the past three seasons. By comparison, Samuel
has 19 interceptions since 2009, tops in the NFL.
The Falcons other top cornerback is Grimes, who
signed his one-year frachise tender Tuesday and went to the Pro Bowl in
Dimitroff was heavily involved in scouting Samuel
coming out of Central Florida, when Dimitroff was college scouting
director of the Patriots.