Falcons cut Samuel, 25/1 long shots
ATLANTA, GA (The Spread) – Perhaps the writing was on the wall last April for Asante Samuel.
The Atlanta Falcons used their first two draft picks last April on cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford. Set to turn 33 after the season and carrying a $4 million cap hit for 2015, it didn’t take a forward-thinker to know that Samuel’s job was in jeopardy. On Wednesday, the Falcons released the veteran cornerback along with linebacker Stephen Nicholas.
Samuel struggled last season and was eventually benched in favor of Alford, who started opposite Trufant for the final month of the season. Granted, the Falcons were knocked out of the playoff picture long before then so the move had just as much to do with a youth moment as Samuel’s production, but the situation didn’t paint a pretty picture for his future either. He’s now free to join any team that he wants and will likely be viewed as organizational depth for a competitor (or perhaps as a starter for a team lacking overall talent).
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Falcons are 25/1 long shots to win Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. The Seahawks are the current favorites at 5/1, while the 49ers are 7/1 and the Broncos and Patriots are 10/1. If it’s any consolation to Atlanta fans, the Falcons are the first non-playoff team from 2014 to be listed. The Bears are the second at the same 25/1 odds.
Even in wake of Samuel’s release, the Falcons desperately need to upgrade their talent on defense. Due to botched free agent moves and draft picks, the front seven is devoid of talent, upside and potential, and the team could stand to upgrade at free safety after Thomas DeCoud struggled last season. The offensive line is also a mess after it turned Matt Ryan into a punching bag in 2013. That said, with a few key upgrades on both sides of the ball, the Falcons are a nice value at 25/1.