BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Asante Samuel showed up at Eagles practice with his usual big smile on his face.
By the end of a four-minute chat with the media about his future, he wasnt smiling anymore.
I want to be where Im wanted, Samuel said. If Im wanted here, I want to be here. If Im not appreciated here, then life goes on. I move on.
Samuel came across bitter, hurt and surprised Monday afternoon when discussing where he fits in on the Eagles after the blockbuster acquisitions of Pro Bowl cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
The Eagles acquired Rodgers-Cromartie on Thursday in the Kevin Kolb trade with the Cards and one day later signed Asomugha to a five-year contract.
Eagles president Joe Banner, in an interview Monday with ProFootballTalk.com, conceded that the team is entertaining offers for Samuel but said that doesnt necessarily mean hell be traded.
Samuel said hes unsure hes wanted in Philadelphia, where hes recorded 20 interceptions in three seasons and made the Pro Bowl each year hes played in an Eagles uniform.
When asked if he thinks the Eagles still want him, Samuel said: Its probably 50-50. So well see how it goes.
Samuel has 49 career interceptions and eight returns for touchdown. In NFL history, nobody has returned more interceptions for touchdowns in their first eight NFL seasons. His 49 interceptions are fourth-most in NFL history by a player in his first eight seasons.
Samuel is due to earn 5.9 million this year with a 9.335 million cap hit.
If theyre tired of my big-playmaking ability, maybe theyll ship me out, Samuel said. Maybe theyll keep me. I dont know. Who knows.
My role is my role. Ill still do what I do. Nothings changed for me. If something changes, youll hear about it.
Samuel missed the first four days of training camp because of an undisclosed personal matter. He declined to discuss it on Monday.
He reported to Lehigh on Monday morning and was in uniform and at practice for the second session on Monday.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said Monday afternoon Samuel has not asked for a trade.
Banner said earlier Monday that the team is entertaining offers for Samuel.
Were looking at this kind of like the way we were when we had (Michael) Vick, (Donovan) McNabb and Kevin Kolb, Banner said on PFT Live. It may be the best thing for us to do to keep all three corners. Certainly, thats a phenomenal situation. Our cap situation and cash situation is as such that we can do that.
At the same time, as that happened with those guys, we did start getting inquiries from people that have a shortage at corner or are looking to upgrade at corner and are inquiring whether wed be willing. What weve said to people is well listen to offers, and if they make sense for us and make us better, well consider doing something. ...
So we have teams that are talking to us and teams that are formulating offers, and well make a decision once thats brought to a head as to what our options are and whats the best thing for us to do.
Reporters saw Roseman and head coach Andy Reid speak with Samuel on the field after practice.
Yeah, we got our talks in, Samuel said. If theyre tired of me making big plays over here, well see what happens.
Reid declined to discuss Samuels comments, but he was clearly surprised when they were relayed to him.
Roseman wouldnt discuss the contents of the conversation among himself, Reid and Samuel, but its clear that they told him theres a chance hell be traded.
Weve all talked to Asante, Roseman said. Weve always had a really good relationship with Asante and been very honest with each other, and I think hed say the same thing about our relationship.
On Monday morning, first-year defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said theres no reason the Eagles cant make things work with Asomugha, Rodgers-Cromartie and Samuel all on the roster and all on the field at the same time.
You know that the nickel defensive back is really a starter in the NFL, Castillo said. There are some teams that dont even play regular personnel. There are some people like the Colts that play the two tight ends, two wideouts, and one back, and that extra tight end is a receiver.
Youre playing that nickel the whole game. You know what? We have three starters. You need three starters. Thats a great deal, were excited.
Samuel also had an interesting and different take on all the Eagles big-name acquisitions over the past week.
Pretty talented team?
On paper, yeah, Samuel said. 'Til we play the games. Well see how it goes. Its a bunch of big-name players on the team. Were the Dream Team, right? I guess well find out after the Super Bowl.
E-mail Reuben Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org