Asante Samuel is many things: talented, boisterous, prideful, hungry for recognition and big paychecks. He is also savvy about marketing himself.
Samuel, whose left bicep bears a tattoo of a hand gripping a wad of cash, knows that game-changing interceptions earn far more acclaim and commas on his paychecks than routine tackles. He also knows that if he wants to be remembered as one of the best of his time, it helps to tell his story.
Hence his new-found accessibility to the media. This week he sounded off about Deion Sanders, who called Samuel the “best off corner” in the NFL. Samuel took the “off corner” qualifier as criticism disguised as a compliment. He is, after all, sensitive to accusations that he is soft and has worked to counter that perception. Still, his reaction seemed over the top, since Sanders’ comments were mostly laudatory.
The little dust up, though, got Samuel’s name in the headlines and reminded everyone that he leads the NFL in interceptions. Samuel is a lot of things, but he’s not stupid.