The Philadelphia Eagles have reportedly signed former New England Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel to a six-year, $57 million contract that includes $20 million in guaranteed money and $32 million in the first three years of the contract, according to NFL.com. Earlier reports indicated that the deal was a five-year, $47.5 million contract. The signing of Samuel leaves the door open for the Eagles to trade veteran cornerback Lito Sheppard.
Samuel, 27, was a fourth round draft pick of the Patriots in the 2003 NFL Draft and has been the league's most productive defensive back, in terms of interceptions (16), over the last two seasons. Samuel has also been a key defensive standout for the Patriots during their Super Bowl years.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Samuel gives the Eagles the playmaker they need, as they finished the 2007 season with 11 interceptions, which was the least amount in the NFL. Samuel's ability as a playmaker now leaves the disgruntled Sheppard expendable and gives Philadelphia the flexibility to pursue a trade for an offensive game breaker.
Clemons, 26, entered the league as an undrafted free agent from Georgia and started his career with the Washington Redskins. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound pass rusher would give the Eagles another weapon on the defensive line.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999.