Falcons deal 7th rounder for Samuel


Asante Samuel picks off Ryan

Albert Breer of NFL.com reports that the Falcons have agreed to a three-year $18.5 million contract with Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel, and subsequently agreed to send a sixth round pick to the Eagles in exchange for him. UPDATE: D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC tweets that the Falcons in fact gave up a seventh round pick, not their sixth round pick. The Eagles receive the 229nd overall pick in the 2012 draft.

Samuel had two years left on his contract with the Eagles in which he would have been paid $21.5 million, but in order to make the trade happen with the Falcons, restructured to reduce that figure to $18.5 million, and add a third year to make him signed through 2014 with Atlanta. Samuel is widely viewed as one of the top corners in the NFL, leading the league over the past six seasons with 39 combined interceptions. In 14 games with the Eagles in 2011, he had 3 interceptions and 10 pass breakups, his lowest totals for each since 2004. In 2003, Samuel was a fourth round pick of the New England Patriots. He played five seasons with the Patriots before signing a six-year, $56 million deal with the Eagles prior to the 2008 season. Samuel is a four-time Pro Bowler, making the squad for four consecutive years (2007-10) and led the league in interceptions in 2006 and 2009.

This trade now leaves the Falcons with only five picks for this upcoming draft. The team already dealt their first and fourth round picks as part of last year’s Julio Jones trade, leaving them with only four of their original 2012 draft picks. They also received a compensatory seventh round choice a month ago.

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Aaron Freeman
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