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Falcons acquire Pro Bowl corner



ATLANTA — The Falcons acquired Asante Samuel, a four-time Pro Bowl cornerback, from the Eagles for a seventh-round pick on Wednesday.

Soon after, Samuel restructured his contract, signing a three-year, $18.5 million deal. He was set to earn $9.9 million in 2012 and $11.4 million in 2013.

"I wanted to be a Falcon," he said. "So we made it work. The Falcons already have an excellent team and excellent coaches and schemes and talent. I'm just going to add to the bunch to get the one common goal."

Samuel, 31, has 45 interceptions over nine seasons.

"Our game has become more of a passing game," Atlanta coach Mike Smith said. "And you have to have the players who can neutralize how offenses are trying to attack you."

Samuel became expendable when the Eagles acquired Pro Bowl cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rod­gers-Cromartie before last season. But they couldn't find a suitable deal for Samuel, so they kept him and used Rodgers-Cromartie in the nickel spot.

"We obviously feel good about our cornerback situation moving forward with Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as our starters," coach Andy Reid said.

Ex-Buc found guilty

CINCINNATI — A jury convicted former Bucs and Bengals linebacker Nate Webster of four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with the teenage daughter of a former Bengals assistant. A jury found him not guilty of gross sexual imposition, sexual battery and a fifth count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

The Bucs drafted Webster out of Miami in the third round in 2000. He played for them (2000-03), the Bengals (2004-05) and Broncos (2006-08).

Prosecutors said Webster had sexual contact with the unidentified girl in 2009, when she was 15, and threatened to harm her if she told anyone. He admitted having sex with her when she was 16, the age of consent in Ohio.

The prosecutor's office said Webster, 34, faces up to 20 years in prison during sentencing on June 6. It added he turned down a plea deal that would have required him to serve four years.

Colts: One day before quarterback Andrew Luck is drafted, a large banner of former quarterback Peyton Manning was removed from Lucas Oil Stadium. The team said the timing had nothing to do with the draft. Instead, it was because a crane was in the area and available.

Packers: Nick Collins, a three-time Pro Bowl safety, was released. The team cited concerns about his ability to safely continue playing after last year's surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his neck. Collins, 28, was hurt making a tackle Sept. 18 against Carolina. Agent Alan Herman said Collins has not decided if he will try to play for another team.

Redskins: Neil Rackers, 35, who made 32 of 38 field goals for the Texans in 2011, signed. He will compete with former Florida State standout Graham Gano.

Saints: The league is still doing interviews regarding player punishments for the bounty system, commissioner Roger Goodell said. He said he doesn't expect a decision this week but the league is "in the final stages." Also, coach Sean Payton, suspended for the season for the bounties, said he was annoyed by an ESPN report that said general manager Mickey Loomis' Superdome booth was wired so Loomis could eavesdrop on opposing coaches. "It's hogwash," Payton said.

Falcons acquire Pro Bowl corner 04/25/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 10:44pm]
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