Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Falcons' Samuel won't discuss future
By Vaughn McClure
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel, who was benched in favor of rookie Robert Alford last Sunday, refused to speculate about his future with the team following his demotion.
Although Samuel is still listed as the starter on the team's depth chart, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan previously announced his intentions to get a closer look at Alford over the final three games of the season.
When asked what he thought his status with the team would be moving forward, Samuel responded: "We'll see how it goes. I don't know."
Samuel went on to say he's not really thinking about next season right now.
The Falcons have a decision to make with several veteran players, including Samuel. He is signed through 2014 and will carry a cap number of $5.125 million next season. Alford and fellow rookie Desmond Trufant have a combined cap figure of $2.628 million next season.
The 32-year-old Samuel has 51 career interceptions but just one this season. He is the only player in NFL history to register at least one interception return for a touchdown in each of his first six NFL seasons.
Teammates figured Samuel would handle the demotion like a pro.
"[Samuel] is a vet," linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said. "He's being doing this a long time. He's going to get a yellow [Hall of Fame] jacket. He's got a lot of money. He's getting more money. And he's trying to help the younger guys."
Samuel has dealt with a lingering thigh issue this season and missed two games due to the injury. He did not play at all last week against the Green Bay Packers.