Asante Samuel Will Make the Atlanta Falcons a Scary Contender in the NFC

Danny WebsterAnalyst IIIApril 25, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27:  Asante Samuel #22 of the Philadelphia Eagles takes the field through the smoke during player introductions against the New England Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

It's about as clear as day at this point that, during some time today, it'll be announced that Asante Samuel will be playing for a different type of bird this upcoming season.

The four-time Pro Bowl cornerback and former All-Pro will be traded to the Atlanta Falcons at some point soon, with the Philadelphia Eagles getting a sixth-round pick in return.

It's been evident since last season that the Eagles have been trying to get rid of Samuel from the moments they acquired Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie last year.

Samuel now heads to Atlanta and brings forth a veteran presence to a young, perennial playoff team that is dangerous every year on offense but has always lacked the ability to defend the pass on a year-to-year basis. 

Say what you will about Samuel's effort at certain times: missing tackles, not running at full speed, etc. The fact can't be denied that he's still a top-10-15 cornerback in the league and a majority of teams would love to have him, much like Atlanta wanted him last year.

Now that the Falcons have their guy, it presents a rather intimidating defensive back duo between the likes of Samuel and Dunta Robinson. Both corners are in their prime with Samuel at 31 years old and Robinson hitting 30 almost two weeks ago.

Not to mention Atlanta also has Brent Grimes back for another year after he signed his franchise tender today, giving the Falcons three very good corners that can run and play physical up front.

When you mix this addition to the defense, along with the offense that Atlanta carries with Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Julio Jones, this makes the Falcons a safe pick to not only win the NFC South this year, but makes them a scary pick to contend to win the NFC.

The Falcons will only go as far as Ryan takes them, and the overall perspective on the season will be if he can win at least one playoff game. But there's no question that Samuel, who has perhaps the greatest amount of experience on the squad with his resume and a Super Bowl appearance, will provide a great sense of leadership for a young defense that's on the rise.

They still have to go through teams like the Giants and Green Bay, but no one will be judged if they think Atlanta can make a run.


Let me know what you think. Does the simple addition of Asante Samuel make the Falcons dangerous contenders this year? Or are they still a year or two away from finally making it to the Super Bowl?