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Eagles sign CB Samuel to six-year deal

The Philadelphia Eagles signed unrestricted free agent CB Asante Samuel to a six-year contract, the team announced Friday. Regarded as one the league's most sought-after free agents in 2008, Samuel has led the NFL with 16 interceptions over the past two years.

The 27-year-old cornerback has spent his entire five-year career in New England, where he has recorded 22 interceptions in 75 regular season games and five more interceptions in 14 career postseason contests. He has six interception returns for a touchdown in his career (three in the regular season and three more in the postseason).

Since entering the league in 2003 as a fourth round draft choice from Central Florida, Samuel's interception total ranks 6th in the NFL behind Ed Reed (29), Champ Bailey (26), Darren Sharper (26), Dre Bly (24), and Ty Law (23). In that same time span, Samuel's six interception returns for a touchdown (including playoffs) are the most by any player in the NFL.

A two-time Super Bowl champion following the 2003 and 2004 seasons, Samuel (5-10, 185) leads all NFL defensive backs with 14 postseason games played since entering the league. He also leads all active players with three career postseason touchdown returns.

In 2007, Samuel earned his first-career Pro Bowl selection after registering six interceptions (one return for a touchdown on November 25 against the Eagles), 44 tackles, and 18 passes defensed. He also earned first-team All-Pro honors.

One year earlier, Samuel led the NFL with 10 interceptions and 28 passes defensed for a secondary that allowed an NFL-low 10 touchdown passes by opponents. His interception total was the second-best single-season output in Patriots history, behind Ron Hall's 11 in 1964.

For his career, he has registered 232 tackles, 22 interceptions, 61 passes defensed, and 3 forced fumbles in the regular season. The Patriots boasted a 17-0 record in regular season games in which he registered an interception. In addition, six of his interceptions have occurred in the fourth quarter while leading or trailing by seven points or fewer, which is the highest total in the NFL since 2003.

A native of Lauderdale Lakes, FL, Samuel played collegiately at Central Florida, where he recorded 127 tackles, adding eight interceptions and a school-record 38 passes defensed. He earned first-team All-Mid American Conference honors as a senior, after leading the team with four interceptions.

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