Could Falcons work a deal for Asante Samuel?

Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel would be a nice addition to Falcons' defense. (AP photo)

Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel would be nice addition to Falcons defense. (AP photo)

The Falcons’ signing of defensive end Ray Edwards last week should improve a defense that too often has come up short in two areas: pass rush and pass coverage. The question now is whether they can improve coverage, and that’s why I’m bringing up this name: Asante Samuel.

Several fans have emailed me (and Barrister Ledbetter) to ask about Asante. Here’s what I can tell you: The Falcons would love him but I just don’t know that a deal is feasible.

Asante is 30, but he has gone to the Pro Bowl the last four years. He’s also available. Philadelphia’s signing of free agent Nnamdi Asomugha and acquisition of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie leaves Samuel expendable. The Eagles are hoping to trade him.

The cornerback job on the opposite side of Dunta Robinson currently is manned by restricted free agent Brent Grimes, who has yet to sign his contract tender (and isn’t at Samuel’s level anyway). It’s also worth noting that Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff was in New England when Samuel was drafted in 2003.

Here’s the problem: Even if the Falcons trimmed salary elsewhere on the roster and somehow found a way to fit Samuel under the cap — his contract pays $8.4 million this season and $10.4 million next year — they don’t have anything to trade. Their 2012 first- and fourth-round picks next season went to Cleveland in the Julio Jones trade. If they traded their second- and/or third-rounder, they wouldn’t have a draft left.

Therefore the only realistic hope of the Falcons getting Samuel would be if Philadelphia was unable to spin a trade and simply released him for salary cap relief. That isn’t likely to happen. Then again, NFL general managers value their draft picks and only a few teams will be in the market to take on Samuel’s salary.

But if he is released, don’t be surprised if the Falcons swoop in.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

109 comments Add your comment

Herschel Talker

August 2nd, 2011
12:22 pm

FIRE FREDI GONZALEZ!!! HE AND PARRISH ARE KILLING US!!!

Bill Pennington

August 2nd, 2011
12:24 pm

JS, the price is just too high. Realistically speaking we have nothing to offer Philly unless they would be will Kenshin Kawakami!!

Justin

August 2nd, 2011
12:25 pm

We could get T.O to play cornerback and he would be really cheap.

Justin

August 2nd, 2011
12:25 pm

1st and 4th. We have our 3rd.

Pauls Johnson

August 2nd, 2011
12:25 pm

If Grimes signs with someone else we get their first round pick,, we could use that pick to get Samual,,,

Telfo

August 2nd, 2011
12:26 pm

Samuel and corner and Grimes as the nickel back would be perfect

Paul

August 2nd, 2011
12:27 pm

Unlikely but preferrable: Someone offers Grimes, we get 1st rounder. Samuel is cut and we sign him.

Would miss Grimes though.

Justin

August 2nd, 2011
12:30 pm

We should call up Randy Moss’s agent and see if we could get him to play corner.

Geoff

August 2nd, 2011
12:32 pm

jeff I think we gave up a fourth and not a third next year.

Philly ain't...

August 2nd, 2011
12:32 pm

…gonna keep Samuel after signing the other two, and nobody is going to sign Grimes and give up a first round pick for him. So, that leaves Samuel for the waiver wire, and if he is still there when they get to us (26th is a LONG way for nobody else to sign him), and that is the only way he might end up in ATL.

Runner-

August 2nd, 2011
12:32 pm

OH YEA!! Let Grimes walk and get a first round pick, which we lack, in return. Will be much better for the future and our new stadium. Grimes is way overrated and we got burned in the playoffs as a result of his size. Sign Asante!!

Clint

August 2nd, 2011
12:38 pm

No way in hell that the Eagles would trade him to the Falcons. They have smart front office. If they do trade him(which they aren’t), they would send him the the AFC where he can’t burn them. They would never send him to a NFC rival. They ave said that they are keeping all 3. You don’t just cut a guy that had 8 picks last year. Keep dreaming Falcons fans.

chickenman

August 2nd, 2011
12:42 pm

Trust in TD.

Runner-

August 2nd, 2011
12:42 pm

@ Clint – Asante has said himself he wants to go where he feels wanted, and since the Eagles are in a win now mode, we don’t have to trade draft picks to get him, so it’s reasonable. And what’s this garbage about only sending players to the AFC? They would take the best offer on the table

Terrell

August 2nd, 2011
12:43 pm

Runner-

I guess you don’t watch too much football because for every big play Asante made he gave up one as well. He is only 2 inches at most taller than Grimes, and to call he overrated is far fetched. Most of the ints he made was because he made great jumps on the pass. Asante isn’t a free agent so we just can’t sign him. What happens if we get the 1st round pick for Grimes but we can’t land Asante then what?

dawgsteve

August 2nd, 2011
12:45 pm

Asante left the patriots because he was not a team player, now the eagles dont want him prob for the same, falcons definately do not need him folks

Ivan

August 2nd, 2011
12:45 pm

“If Grimes signs with someone else we get their first round pick,, we could use that pick to get Samual,,”

Samuel is good. But I don’t think you trade a first round pick for him. To the Eagles especially.

TIM

August 2nd, 2011
12:48 pm

Here we go agsain……AJC sports columists thinking that all NFL, MLB, and NBA players want to play here or teams will trade their player to Atlanta.

Kane337

August 2nd, 2011
12:48 pm

1st and a 4th, not 1st and a 3rd

Junkyard Dawg2011

August 2nd, 2011
12:50 pm

I would rather retain Grimes who has had 2 very solid seasons and seems to still be improving rather than acquire a 30 year old vet who will be asking for a ridiculously amount of money… I say try to re-sign Grimes or take the first round pick and pick up a cheap but solid DB in FA.

PMC

August 2nd, 2011
12:51 pm

Wonder how many towns have this headline today.

They would be nuts to trade him this season. If the Eagles can afford to keep him on this season it would be silly to entertain trading Samuel. DRC in the nickle makes them much more fearsome.

Runner-

August 2nd, 2011
12:52 pm

Terrell- you obviously don’t understand football. Most people simply look at the amazing catches he made last season, but choose to ignore how his lack of height gave opponents huge advantages and attacked him every game. Also, 2 inches is alot in this game, and Asante is well over 3 inches taller, regardless of what websites say

Ted M

August 2nd, 2011
12:52 pm

long shot…but we can dream

Junkyard Dawg2011

August 2nd, 2011
12:54 pm

It seems that people have not looked up Grimes stats over the past two seasons… He is up and coming and would be worth more in the terms of a long term deal compared to Samuels who is 30 years old…

PMC

August 2nd, 2011
12:56 pm

Also, Cornerback is a long way from the football. Neither one is happening so it’s moot, but I’d rather have Osi than Samuel.

Can never have enough great pass rushers. I’ll take athletic quick CB’s that don’t cost too much. The passing rules keep guys from being physical on defense anyway. The Falcons play lots of zone, it’s silly to spend crazy money on 2 CB’s.

Remarkable

August 2nd, 2011
1:01 pm

Not going to happen. We are stuck with Grimes. He’s not bad but way too small. If someone will take him and give up a pick great, but expect him to sign on the dotted line by August 4th.

Ted M

August 2nd, 2011
1:02 pm

8 back in the loss column…oh my!

O'Brien

August 2nd, 2011
1:05 pm

I like Samuel, but not at 2 years, $19 mil. Therefore I would not trade for him (even if we had all our picks). However, if he is cut, I would try and work out a deal with him.

Daunte needs to play better this year though.

Ted M

August 2nd, 2011
1:07 pm

Only 2 up in the loss for wildcard…oh my!

Ted M

August 2nd, 2011
1:08 pm

Only 2 up in the loss column for the wildcard…oh my!

O'Brien

August 2nd, 2011
1:09 pm

Assuming he is healthy, what about Kelvin Hayden (formerly of the Colts) as a fallback option (if we lose Grimes)?

Jeff Schultz

August 2nd, 2011
1:19 pm

Geoff — You’re right, thanks. Made that fix.

Jeff Schultz

August 2nd, 2011
1:21 pm

Dominic — The commenting police zapped you.

ted williams head

August 2nd, 2011
1:23 pm

screw Grimes. the falcons take him from a no name college and TEACH him to play the CB position in the NFL and this is what they get from him? maybe Phil will swap Samuel and if not wait Grimes out but get somebody else ready for next year.
this ungrateful prick isnt as good as he thinks anyway

Jayhay

August 2nd, 2011
1:26 pm

Samuel would not work in ATL at his price tag. He’s also not exactly the team first guy you want in the locker room. He has a huge contract and is asking for more. If for some reason Grimes ends up with another team (not a smart team due to his overall cost to that team), then we are surfing the scrap heap. One interesting thing though is that Philly will be looking to deal.

Is it even remotely possibly that DRC was just the best chip Arizona could offer in the trade, and that Philly took him in order to get the best value regardless of position or if they even have long terms plans for him? Could DRC actually be a play that Philly can make? It would certainly be much easier to deal him than Samuel. At his cost and youth, then I think ATL could look there. But not Samuel.

Runner-

August 2nd, 2011
1:27 pm

@ O’Brien I would rather give Owens or Franks a shot than Hayden

Dr. Warren

August 2nd, 2011
1:33 pm

Eagles don’t trust Rodgers-Cromartie completely. Apparently, he’s a similar player to DeAngelo Hall, who didn’t work out too well opposite Nnamdi in Oakland. Thus, they’ll keep Samuel.

Mr. Baseball

August 2nd, 2011
1:42 pm

What is Fredi Gonzalez smoking? The Braves are down 5 to 3 with two outs in the ninth and a runner on and he lets loser Alex Gonzales bat with both Chipper Jones and “The Diesel” available? What is he afraid of? That Alex “The Pouter” Gonzales will get mad at him and give him that look that you are doing me wrong? To hell with Alex Gonzales who has a terrible attutude and can’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag. Alex promptly goes up and strikes at the first pitch. What a loser!!!

Chase Utleyy

August 2nd, 2011
1:44 pm

Im baaaaack!!!! good thing i changed my name, or jeff would think that he could charge me with a crime, even though the most that could happen is the real chase utley could sue me, and probably wouldnt win. The eagles arent going to cut a pro bowler, thats about the dumbest thing i have ever heard, and you are the only person that has suggested it happening. Probably why you write a blog for atlanta, not ESPN.

Let's Go

August 2nd, 2011
1:45 pm

The best way for the Falcons to beef up their secondary is to upgrade their lindbackers and Def Ends and start blitzing the heck out of their opponents. They have started the upgrade with Edwards but a couple of fast dominating linebackers would be better then another overpaid cornerback.

The best pass defense is a pass rush.

Mark My Words

August 2nd, 2011
1:46 pm

How about Pollard in the Falcon’s backfield?

Ted M

August 2nd, 2011
1:48 pm

Alex Gonzales also never hustles to first base…NEVER!

jerry

August 2nd, 2011
1:56 pm

Trade Tony Gonzales and Michael Turner for a #1 draft pick, trade it to Philly. Gonzales is old, won’t get a lot thrown his way, and will have to be replaced soon. Snelling is damn near as good as Turner so not much of a dropoff. Trade Grimes for a high draft pick. Sign free agent TE Kevin Boss, a hellavu blocker. I will take Samuel, Boss, and a high draft pick for Gonzales, Grimes, and Turner any day.

Seen (The Aints) This (get obliterated) B4 (by the only sub-.500 playoff team in the history of pro football)

August 2nd, 2011
2:00 pm

To hell with Samuel, get Osi and paralyze a QB every single week.

Hankie Aron

August 2nd, 2011
2:04 pm

Jerry- Let me get this right- you want to trade the best tight end to ever suit up and a durable solid running back who works great with his QB for a good for other’s teams throwaway scraps?

Hankie Aron

August 2nd, 2011
2:04 pm

High draft picks won’t play for them this year, you realize that right?

Hankie Aron

August 2nd, 2011
2:06 pm

Stick with fantasy football leroy

slydog

August 2nd, 2011
2:06 pm

Bottom Line: Get Asante Samuel NOW!!! If we would have waited just two days, we probably could have gotten Osi Umenorya. Either trade or cut Grimes, but I say don’t do either. Move him to nickel and give Philly next year’s 2nd rounder. Are not we all in, Super Bowl or bust in the next two years, all in ?

headley lamar

August 2nd, 2011
2:09 pm

Sign free agent TE Kevin Boss, a hellavu blocker. I will take Samuel, Boss, and a high draft pick for Gonzales, Grimes, and Turner any day.

And ill take Gonzalez Grimes and Turner and beat you 9 out of 10.

FalconsinPA

August 2nd, 2011
2:12 pm

Old saying Honeymoon is over in Philly for Asante- Don’t want to see this guy wearing an ATL Falcon Uniform-Terrell is right- he gives up as much as he takes- I’m stuck watching the Fleages most every week- he will not come up and tackle- he ducks his head everytime- don’t need the attitude or character in the locker room.