Asante Samuel's name has been milling about in offseason trade rumors for weeks now, and yesterday the Atlanta Falcons were rumored to be in the running for the Philadelphia Eagles' veteran cornerback. Now, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Falcons are on the verge of finalizing a deal.
Samuel would fill a clear need for the Falcons -- passing defense has been the team's clearest weakness during their four years under coach Mike Smith, and Samuel's ball-hawking tendencies would be a huge asset. The Falcons signed returning corner Brent Grimes yesterday to a one-year, $10.281 million franchise tender, but they're still looking for more help.
“I think he’s a great player,” Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said. “We played against [the Eagles] the last few years, and we saw what he could do. He’s definitely a player that I think would improve anyone’s defense.”
Samuel started 14 games for the Eagles last season, recording 34 tackles, one forced fumble and three interceptions. He has two years left on his contract, but the money is unguaranteed. The Eagles are reportedly seeking little more than a late draft pick for the 31-year-old Samuel.