BETHLEHEM --- Reading between the lines of Asante Samuel's words following the afternoon walkthrough, it seems Samuel doesn't know whether he's coming or going, but suspects the latter.
Samuel indicated support for the idea that the Eagles' three Pro Bowl corners can work together, but he also "no commented" a pair of questions, when asked whether he had asked for a trade and whether he had asked to not be traded.
"If they're tired of my big-play-making ability, maybe they'll ship me off," Samuel said several times, in answer to questions about how he sees the future unfolding. "Maybe they want to keep me. Who knows?"
Asked whether he wants to remain an Eagle, Samuel said: "I want to be where I'm wanted. If I'm wanted here, (fine). If I'm not appreciated here, life goes on. I move on."
Does he feel wanted here?
"It's probably 50-50, you know?" Samuel said. "So we'll see how it goes."
He confirmed he had spoken with management about his future. Apparently, Samuel didn't get ewhat he considered definitive answers.
"He's a hell of a player and definitely can do a lot for the team," Samuel said of Nnamdi Asomugha.
Samuel confirmed what the Eagles had been sayiing, that his excused absence from training camp before today was for personal, family reasons, and had nothing to do with his contract or the team.
Eagles president Joe Banner has appeared on WIP Radio and on the PFT Live podcast today. In both appearances, Banner said the Eagles are keeping their options open with Samuel, now part of a three-Pro Bowl-corner triumvirate.
On PFT Live, Banner said the situation might be like two years ago, when the Eagles felt they were best off with Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick at the quarterback position, rather than trying to move one. of course, that was a one-year situation.
Banner said the Eagles have "definitely started getting inquiries from people ... We have teams that are formulating offers."
The flurry of reports about a pending DeSean Jackson arrival here so far has not yielded results. Banner said in both appearances that the team is unaware of any imminent end to Jackson's holdout. But when the details of the new CBA are finalized, there will be a date next week -- Maybe Aug. 9 -- after which a holdout with a contract will lose a year of pension vesting. That's significant. because you need four years vested to become a free agent; if Jackson loses a year, he doesn't reach free agency next offseason. No agent in his right mind would ever advise a client to do that. So we can be pretty sure Jackson is coming in, we just don't know how soon and how grudgingly.
Banner said on PFT Live that right now, the union and the league have differing dates, which they will have to resolve.
"I hope he'll be here soon," Banner said of Jackson. "I have no indication when that will happen."
Apparently, the Eagles have been talking to agent Drew Rosenhaus about a Jackson contract.
Given the recent dizzying pace, it was a quiet morning at camp. The injury report is down to Brent Celek (back spasms), safety Kurt Coleman (ankle) and running back Dion Lewis (hamstring).
Safety Nate Allen, returning from knee surgery, saw his first live action of camp today and said he feels his knee is now 100 percent, but that his reps will continue to be limited for a while to be safe.
There is some confusion about exactly what defensive coordinator Juan Castillo is talking about when he references using Nnamdi Asomugha in a "Rod Woodson-type role." Castillo talked about that in today's Daily News, and again in his news conference today. But today, Castillo also made reference to the Packers, so apparently, he has in mind Charles Woodson, not Rod. Either way, he seems to want to move Asomugha around in his scheme.
Nothing new with first-round pick Danny Watkins. There continues to be a logjam signing players around Watkins No. 23 overall spot, with agents wanting the complete four-year guarantee that players signing higher in the first round are getting, and teams adamant about only offering a three-year guarantee ijn the bottom half of the round.
As we said previously, Watkins's agents and the Eagles have face to lose or gain in this fight, but for Watkins, the fourth-year guarantee is really small potatoes compared to the chance to start at right guard as a rookie. He is a victim of somebody else's war.