Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Of Eagles, Falcons and Asante Samuel
By Dan Graziano
The latest team being mentioned as interested in acquiring Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel are the Atlanta Falcons, per Adam Schefter, who also reports that the Denver Broncos have dropped out of the running. It seems fair to say that the Eagles' market for Samuel is not expanding, but they don't really need it to. They just need one team interested enough to offer what they want -- a Day 3 draft pick -- in exchange for Samuel, and they need that team to be interesting enough to Samuel that he's willing to restructure his contract in order to facilitate the trade.
It has been reported in Philadelphia that Samuel would be willing to restructure in order to get a trade done, but to this point that has not happened. The Eagles would obviously like to trade Samuel sometime between now and the end of the draft Saturday (otherwise they obviously won't be able to get a 2012 pick for him), and today being Tuesday, the timetable does start to get a bit compressed.
So, what of Atlanta as a suitor? Surely, this is a team for which a player wouldn't mind playing. They are coming off of two straight playoff appearances and by all appearances should be a contender again this coming season. But with Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson already there, would Samuel be leaving one crowded cornerback situation for another? And if so, would that upset him enough to give them enough of a problem about the contract to scuttle a deal?
It's also worth raising a question here about Atlanta's motivation. The report came out this morning that they were interested in Samuel, and then a few hours later Grimes signed his franchise tender. That could be a coincidence, or it could be that the interest in Samuel was a ploy by the Falcons to get Grimes' situation settled as the offseason program begins?
Much intrigue still swirls around this situation, as it seems to swirl around every situation this time of year. I still think Samuel gets dealt by Saturday night, but I'd only be guessing if I predicted to which team.