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Monday, February 18, 2008

Boston Herald: Browns chasing Patriots’ corner Asante Samuel

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2008 at 2:38 PM

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Phil Savage is courting Patriots' corner Asante Samuel, according to the Boston Herald.
While Cavs’ GM Danny Ferry keeps striking out in his bid to upgrade his roster – Mike Bibby and Jason Kidd, both reportedly coveted by the Cavs, are now both off the market -- Clevelanders can take solace in the fact that Browns GM Phil Savage is officially the anti-Ferry. ... Last year, when the Browns needed to seriously retool their offensive line, Savage signed the best free agent offensive lineman on the market in Eric Steinbach. Then he spent the Browns first draft pick on Joe Thomas, who you’ll likely see in every Pro Bowl until he retires. Savage then took a chance on Jamal Lewis, shuttled Charlie Frye to Seattle after just one game, and brought in a top-notch offensive coordinator with a top-notch nickname. The result: 10-6 and a tie-breaker away from making the playoffs. Now the Browns need to do some serious reconstructive surgery on their defense, which clocked in at almost dead last in every major category in 2007. And Savage isn’t looking to duct-tape that unit into something functioning; he’s looking to turn Janet Reno into Bar Rafaeli. The Boston Herald reports today that the Browns are one of the leaders in the scramble to sign New England Patriots free agent cornerback Asante Samuel. Samuel is a complete lock-down corner. He’s also a guy who you believe plays dirty, until he plays for your team, in which case he “plays with an edge.” He’s also the best free-agent corner on the market, which means he’s going to get top dollar from whichever team that lands him. The fact that Savage is in on the bidding early tells you all you need to know about the guy and what he’s willing to do to resuscitate the Browns defense. And he’s not stopping there. The linebacker corps and d-line need help too, and you can be sure Savage will address those needs, either through free agency or the draft. Savage has already told his personnel to proceed with their draft preparations as if the Browns have a first round pick, which they don’t -- at least for the moment. – Vince Grzegorek

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