Mike O’Hara has been a respected name in the Detroit Lions media for many years. When he says something, it’s best to pay attention. Here’s the latest:
The Detroit Lions have departed the NFL meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., with a buzz that their interest has continued in obtaining cornerback Asante Samuel from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Cornerback is a position of need for the Lions. A veteran starter with proven coverage ability would be a good addition to their defense.
But there are questions concerning Samuel’s salary and whether, at 31 years old, he’s still close to being a top-echelon cornerback.
The first round of the NFL Draft is April 26, and the issue regarding Samuel no doubt will be settled before that.
No matter your opinions on this matter, it sounds like the speculation will continue for at least a little while longer.
Brandon Folsom recently opinined on this site that the Detroit Lions should not trade for Asante Samuel. I find myself siding with Brandon for the very reasons he used to back up his belief. Giving up a draft pick or two for the right to clear out some cap space to take on Asante Samuel doesn’t sound like a worthy plan for addressing the team’s need at cornerback.
Is it possible the interest is a smokescreen designed to take attention away from potential draft interests? Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick interviewed with the Lions at the combine, came to town for a visit at the team’s facilities and now Martin Mayhew is in Alabama for today’s pro day. All this on top of interest the Lions have shown in other cornerback prospects.
Despite my opinion of trading for Asante Samuel being a bad move, I know that Martin Mayhew will investigate all possible solutions to the team’s cornerback situation and make the move he feels is best. His track record suggests he’ll get it right, whatever that decision turns out to be.
[Update: Mike O'Hara now cites a league source that say there is no chance that Asante Samuel winds up with the Lions]