Asante Samuel wonders how he fits
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- If the Eagles want to trade him, that's fine with Asante Samuel.
He'll be glad to take all his touchdowns and interceptions to another NFL team.
If they're tired of my big-play-making ability, maybe they'll ship me out.” -- Asante Samuel on his place with Eagles
"If they're tired of my big-play-making ability, maybe they'll ship me out," Samuel said. "Maybe they'll keep me. I don't know. Who knows?"
Samuel reported to Lehigh University on Monday morning after missing the first four days of Eagles training camp with an excused, undisclosed personal matter.
During those four days, the Eagles' cornerback position grew very crowded.
Those moves left Samuel wondering exactly where he fits in.
"I want to be where I'm wanted," Samuel said. "If I'm wanted here, then here. If I'm not appreciated here, then life goes on, and I move on."
Samuel has 42 interceptions in eight seasons, including an NFL-leading nine in 2009 and an NFC-best seven in just 11 games last year. He spent his first five seasons with the Patriots, playing in three Super Bowls and winning two.
But the additions of Rodgers-Cromartie and Asomugha have clouded Samuel's future in Philadelphia. Coach Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman have not discouraged trade rumors, saying only that for now, all three cornerbacks are Eagles.
"We think we have a great situation right now," Roseman said last week.
Samuel was asked Monday whether he believed the Eagles wanted him.
"It's probably 50-50," he said. "So we'll see how it goes."
Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said Monday that because NFL teams throw the football so often these days, there was no reason all three cornerbacks couldn't coexist.
"Everybody's trying to get three and really four good corners, the way people throw the football," Castillo said. "We have three starters. We need three starters. That's a great deal; we're excited."
Samuel insists that if he remains with the Eagles, he doesn't care how he's used.
"My role is my role," Samuel said. "I'll still do what I do. Nothing's changed for me."
Asked if he was curious how he'd be used, he shrugged and said no.
"Why would I wonder about that?" he said. "Wherever they want me to play, I'll be able to play."
At practice Monday afternoon, Samuel was at his usual left cornerback spot and Rodgers-Cromartie was at right cornerback.
Asomugha and other free agents are not allowed to begin practicing until Thursday. So -- if Samuel is still here -- the Eagles' practice Thursday morning will be the first in which Samuel, Rodgers-Cromartie and Asomugha will all participate.
Can it work?
"Sure," Samuel said. "Why not?"
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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