When Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie joined the Eagles this summer, there was a lot of speculation about what impact their arrival might have on Asante Samuel.
There was the question of playing three cornerbacks with starter ability making starter money, although today’s NFL is so pass happy that the workload part of the equation wasn’t as big a concern as the financial one. And then there was the question of Samuel’s reaction to sharing the position with two other top-flight players. That seemed to be a big concern back in training camp.
“I want to be where I’m wanted,” Samuel said back in August. “If they’re tired of my big playmaking ability, they can ship me out.”
We didn’t hear much from Samuel after that point and things seemed to have come together nicely for the Eagles. All three corners play a lot and all three have played fairly well in the first two weeks of the season. That made it odd to hear Samuel express some displeasure with the arrangement during a conference call with Giants media in advance of Sunday’s NFC East showdown.
Samuel was asked if he could ever see himself joining one of Philly’s NFC East rivals the way that wide receiver Steve Smith did when he signed with the Eagles as a free agent. The answer comes via Tom Rock of Newsday.
“The way things are going this year,” Samuel said, “I guess I probably could.”
It is hard to understand just what’s bothering Samuel. As mentioned, he’s playing a lot and his role — stopping receivers from catching the ball — isn’t any different than it was before Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie came to town. What’s more, he’s still being paid very well, $5.9 million this year, and still has a contract worth $18.8 million over the next two years. It might be unrealistic for him to see that money in Philly, but it is still pretty hard to see where he’s been dealt such an awful hand by the Eagles.