UPDATE: Jason La Canfora reports that the Lions aren't interested in acquiring Samuel.
Last summer, the Detroit Lions nearly acquired cornerback Asante Samuel from the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade. The deal ultimately fell apart, and the Lions went into the season with Chris Houston and Eric Wright as their main cornerbacks.
This offseason, cornerback is one of the bigger needs for the Lions. While they did replace Wright, who left to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with Jacob Lacey, the Lions could still use an upgrade in talent at the position. Many believe the Lions will address this need with the 23rd overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, as a few talented cornerbacks could be available when they go on the clock.
The Lions also could fill the need that exists at cornerback via a trade. After all, that's how they got Houston a couple years ago, and Mike O'Hara reports that the Lions continue to have interest in dealing for Samuel. The Philadelphia Eagles seem to be interested in moving Samuel, as evidenced by these comments from Eagles general manager Howie Roseman:
"We [feel] like corner is a position of strength right now," Roseman said. "But at the same time when you talk to teams around the league, you’re talking about maybe some positions that you have a strength and maybe that they have a weakness. You try to see if that’s a match whether that’s cornerback or anywhere else."
The big problem with acquiring Samuel is his contract. He is set to make $9.9 million in 2012 and $11.4 million in 2013. While Jeff McLane reports that Samuel "would not let a possible restructuring of his contract impede a deal from getting done," that's still a lot of money to move around. I just have a hard time believing the Lions would trade for Samuel as long as he's set to make that much money.
As long as he remains on the trading block, chances are the idea of acquiring Samuel won't go away until the NFL Draft happens. Once that rolls around, the Lions will likely look to the draft to fill their need at cornerback. Before then, if they do decide to fill it with someone like Samuel, then the Lions would have a bit more flexibility with who they target with their first-round pick.