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Mon, 30 Apr 2012 07:47 PM EDT

Asante Samuel was willing to restructure his contract to play for the Falcons.

“I wished to be a Falcon, so we made it work,” Samuel expounded. Baseball betting lines

The Falcons gave up only a 7th-round draft pick, acquiring the 4-time Pro Bowl cornerback from the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Falcons disclosed the trade after Samuel agreed to restructure his contract to a 3-year, $18.5 million agreement. His contract with Philadelphia called for him to gain $9.9 million in 2012 and $11.4 million in 2013. Baseball lines

The Falcons were 10-6 last season and 13-3 in 2010, but lost their 1st playoff game each season.

“The Falcons already have an excellent team and glorious coaches and schemes and talent and all that good things,” Samuel said. “I’m just going to contribute to the bunch to get the one common goal.”

The 31-year-old Samuel gives Atlanta a powerful but high-priced trio at cornerback with Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

“Asante has established himself as a really productive player during his career,” Falcons CEO Thomas Dimitroff recounted. “He is a confirmed player in this league and we feel that this move upgrades the talent of our roster and improves our football team.”

The Falcons are left with 5 picks but no 1st-round selection in the NFL draft.

Samuel became expendable when the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha and acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie last July, giving them 3 Pro Bowl cornerbacks. But the team couldn’t reach an appropriate offer for Samuel, so they kept him and used Rodgers-Cromartie in the nickel spot.

While Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie struggled in a new defense and new roles, Samuel was the most consistent of the trio. The outspoken Samuel probably sealed his fate in Philadelphia when he questioned the front office at the trade cut-off point, saying management was “playing fantasy football with the owner’s money.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the Falcons only lost a 7th-round pick in the trade.

Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said Samuel “has been an effective member of the Eagles for the last 4 years and we appreciate all that he’s done for our organization.

“We manifestly feel happy about our cornerback situation moving forward with Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as our starters. Those 2 played extremely well together in the latter part of the season and we anticipate that may continue as we head into the 2012 season.”

The Eagles, who were looking to clear payroll, now have 10 picks in the draft, including 3 of the top 51.

Samuel has 45 career interceptions in 9 seasons, 4th among active players. He had only 3 interceptions in 14 games last season, but his 38 interceptions since 2006 lead the NFL.

“We just improved our team today,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “Asante Samuel is a very good football player and you cannot have enough good players on your team. Our game has become even more of a passing game, and you need to have the players who can neutralize how offenses are endeavoring to attack you.”

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