Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel was in the Grays Ferry area today, lending a hand at a Habitat for Humanity build on behalf of his charity, the Bring it Home Single Moms Foundation.
Samuel said he hasn't spoken yet with new Eagles defensive backs coach Todd Bowles, and doesn't know any more about his future with the team than he knew when the season ended.
Samuel, who turned 31 last month, is scheduled to make $9.4 million this coming season, and more than $11 million in 2013, the final season of his six-year, $57 million deal. Perhaps even more relevant, his favored style of playing off the receiver and swooping in for an interception clashes with the press coverage that is the strong point of corners Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha. There is widespread anticipation of an offseason Samuel trade, though the Eagles have not indicated they plan to do that.
"I was expecting you to answer all those questions for me," Samuel said when your Eagletarian asked what he expects to happen. "You, Joe, Howie and Andy, ain't y'all cool?"
Maybe Asante assumed your Eagletarian was in the same fantasy league as the Eagles' president, the general manager, and the head coach. But he assumed incorrectly.
"They don't tell you those things? I'm hoping to be here. That's all."
Can he mesh better with Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie than he did last season, when the Birds' secondary was a huge disappointment, ranking 24th in the NFL in touchdown passes surrendered?
"Anything's possible," he said.
Could Asante adapt to more man, press coverage?
"I'll play whatever I need to play. As long as you make the play, what difference does it make?" he asked.
Samuel said the charity appearance meant a lot to him because he was raised by a single mother, Christine Samuel, who worked a secretarial job for the city of Lauderdale Lakes in his native Florida. When he was growing up, it seemed they moved every six months, he said. He said his mom never owned a home until he bought her a condo after he signed his first NFL contract, with the Patriots.
"We moved from house to house, never had a stable foundation," he said. "That's what I'm trying to bring with this charity."