PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 21: Asante Samuel #22 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after an interception in the second quarter against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on November 21 2010 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
News out of Philadelphia this morning is that the Eagles are going to try and move pro bowl cornerback Asante Samuel to another team to free up cap space and make some changes in their defensive scheme. Moving Samuel will be difficult because he is an aging veteran (31) who did not have a very good 2011 season and is due $9.4 million dollars in 2012.
A few weeks ago, Samuel hinted to his Twitter followers that he was expecting to not be in Philadelphia next season by asking them,
If they trade me where would you guys like to see me go?
Samuel had a decreased role in the defensive scheme last year because the Eagles added Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha and developed a three-corner alignment in order to have all three of their top defensive playmakers on the field at one time. As a result of the shortened off-season because of the hold-out, the team might have not had enough time to mesh and develop together, but the result was not good for the Eagles who expected to be the "dream team" of the 2011 NFL season.
If the Eagles decide to trade Samuels, the Bengals could be a team that would need his services. Leon Hall is coming off of an Achilles injury, Adam Jones will likely be let go once free agency starts, and Nate Clements is in his 12th year. Needless to say, the Bengals are very, very thin in the secondary. Although Samuel is older, he is only a 9 year veteran and could be a positive addition to the Bengals defensive personnel. Samuel may not be the Bengals first choice because of what it would cost to bring him to Cincinnati combined with their desire to draft a cornerback with one of their first round picks, but he is a player that could start on opening day if Leon Hall is not fully recovered and help teach any rookie cornerbacks the Bengals might decide to draft.
Whether it is smart or not, the Bengals need solid players at cornerback. There are several free agent cornerbacks that might be better fits in Cincinnati (Brandon Carr/Cortland Finnegan) but none of them have the extensive playoff experience that Samuel has, and that experience is something the Bengals will desire if they should make it to the post-season in 2012.
Of the free agent cornerbacks available, who do you think would be a good fit in Cincinnati's defensive scheme?