Asante Samuel is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Sadly, Samuel is also one of the most expendable players on the Philadelphia Eagles roster.
Expected to make $8.4 million next season, Samuel’s contract as well as the presence of former Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the Eagles roster, make the nine-year veteran an easy trade piece for Philadelphia.
Samuel should be a hot commodity for most teams that may be in desperate need of a phenomenal ball hawk corner who has his most success in zone coverage. Samuel ranks amongst the NFL’s best corners, such as Darrelle Revis and teammate Nnamdi Asomugha, but does struggle in man coverage.
With big holes to be filled by the Eagles this offseason, Samuel’s tenure in Philadelphia may be coming to an end. Here are five teams that could benefit for trading for his services.
The Indianapolis Colts might not be Asante Samuel’s most-desired landing spot in their current state, but the addition would make a lot of sense for the Colts.
With the hiring of new head coach Chuck Pagano, the shift towards bolstering the defense is likely, especially with such a desperate need. Samuel would be an instant boost to a defense that has been in shambles for quite some time.
The Colts picked off opponents just eight times in 2011. Samuel has averaged over six interceptions in the last three seasons.
Finishing with the 26th-ranked pass defense in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings could really use some help in the secondary.
Playing in a “Tampa 2” scheme, Minnesota might be a prime location for a cornerback of Asante Samuel’s talents. The opportunity would enable Samuel to flourish in a scheme that caters to how he plays best, while giving the Vikings a vital defender against the NFC North’s lethal offenses.
The Vikings have plenty of cap space to afford the Pro Bowl corner and desirable draft picks that could pique the Eagles’ interest.
Speaking of the NFC North, the Chicago Bears would also be a fitting place for Asante Samuel to land.
The Bears struggled mightily against the pass this season and could use a player of Samuel’s caliber to lock down one side of the football field. Like the Vikings, they run a similar scheme to the "Tampa 2" defense and would value Samuel's coverage skills against the pass.
Chicago picked off 20 passes in 2011. Adding Samuel would make the Bears defense more lethal than they have ever been before. Factor in the big boost in their push towards the postseason and this would be a great move for the Bears.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are another team going through some changes and may not be Asante Samuel’s most-desired landing spot, but the addition would be a great one for the Bucs. With stud corner Aqib Talib and veteran Ronde Barber, Samuel would fit in well despite a changing scheme incoming with the hiring of Greg Schiano.
The Bucs finished 21st in pass defense. They allowed an NFL-high 30.9 points per game and were embarrassed in nearly every facet of the game.
Samuel would sure up a question mark on the Bucs defense while delivering the team with some much-needed veteran leadership and star power.
Already with one of the NFL’s best young defenses on its roster, adding a corner of Asante Samuel’s caliber would be a huge move for the Denver Broncos.
The idea of Samuel playing opposite one of the best shutdown cornerbacks ever in Champ Bailey is terrifying, to say the least. Current No. 2 corner Andre’ Goodman has been good for the Broncos, but he is incomparable to the possibility of a Bailey-Samuel combination, even if it’s only for one season.
One thing Samuel would bring to the Broncos is the opportunity for interceptions. Opposing teams have learned to simply avoid throwing at Bailey, even at this point in his career. As a result, the Broncos had just nine interceptions this past season.
Adding Samuel into the mix would force opponents’ hands and almost certainly result in much more turnovers by way of the interception. In doing so, the young Broncos defense gets a nice boost in veteran leadership alongside Bailey.