Asante Samuel Trade Rumors: Detroit Lions a Possible Landing Spot?

Field YatesCorrespondent IIIMarch 29, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27:  Aaron Hernandez #81 of the New England Patriots runs for yards after the catch against Asante Samuel #22 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Patriots won 38-20.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

As speculation persists that Asante Samuel could end up in Tennessee, another team—the Detroit Lionsmay too be a landing spot for his services. 

Samuel remains on the trading block as Philadelphia attempts to reallocate resources, facing the prospect of having to pay a trio of corners—Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie—somewhere in the neighborhood of $23 million in 2012. 

While the price to acquire Samuel remains unclear, a mid-round pick is the going estimate, and that’s a move the Lions ought to consider. 

With Eric Wright gone to Tampa Bay and a secondary already needing improvement, Samuel makes sense for Detroit, albeit with a restructured contract as part of the deal.

Detroit is a pressure-based defense that aims to force opposing quarterbacks into quick decisions; Samuel, as it turns out, is amongst the savviest defensive backs in football, often able to read quarterbacks as rapidly as they can read defenses themselves.  By that measure, the deal aligns with the strengths of both Samuel and Detroit.

A glaring hole in Samuel’s game is his ability—or, more specifically, his inability to tackle with efficiency and force.  He’s never been a strong perimeter run defender, and he’s not the kind of guy you want taking on a ball carrier one-on-one in open space.  Detroit mixes in a healthy dose of man-to-man coverage, which puts a premium on capable tackling in the back end.  If brought aboard in Detroit, the onus would be on Samuel to step up—and wrap up—in the tackling department.

All that being said, for a team knocking on the door of the elite crowd in the NFC, Samuel is the kind of calculated gamble that can pay off in a major way. 

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