Earlier in the day, when Andy Reid was asked about Asante Samuel and how he felt hurt by lingering trade rumors, Reid said this: I dont have any comments past this, and I know he doesnt.
Oh, yes he does.
Samuel blasted team president Joe Banner and general manager Howie Roseman Wednesday, saying that they wanted him traded while Reid didnt and mocking them as fantasy football players playing with owner Jeff Luries money.
Samuel was the subject of trade rumors both during training camp, after the Eagles acquired Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and again last week, as Tuesdays NFL trade deadline approached.
That sucks, doesnt it? Samuel said. Each trade deadline for your name to be flying around and youre supposed to be the leader of this team?
CSNPhilly.com reported last week (see story) that a league source said the Eagles were listening to offers for Samuel but not actively trying to trade him.
Samuel also said a team official called him over the summer and told him the team was trying to trade him then.
Asked Wednesday if he feels wanted, Samuel said: By Andy. Couple people upstairs might not want me, but who cares? Theyve probably never played football. ...
Its a business and they run it like a business and theyre going to do what they need to do. Theyre playing with a lot of money, playing fantasy football, doing their thing.
Asked to clarify if he was referring to Roseman and Banner, Samuel said: Howie and Joe? I dont know, do they fit the comment I made? There ya go. You think theyre upstairs playing fantasy football with the owners money?
Samuel said he thinks Reid is not on the same page as Roseman and Banner when it comes to whether or not to keep Samuel.
Reid carries the titles of head coach and executive vice president of football operations and has final say on all personnel moves.
I think theres a little power struggle around here, he said. But its all good. Like I said, me and Andy cool. Im here to play for Andy. Hes my head coach and thats all that matters. ...
Everything has been good with me and Andy. Thats my guy. Thats who I play for, thats who I continue to play for. I go to war for Andy. It is what it is. All the other stuff upstairs.
Samuel, a four-time Pro Bowl pick, has 50 career interceptions, including eight in the postseason. Hes one of only four players in NFL history with 50 or more interceptions in his first eight seasons.
But the acquisition of Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie, who are also Pro Bowl cornerbacks, left Samuels status unclear.
When they traded for Dominique, I was happy, he said. When they signed Nnamdi, definitely was happy. But when they made the call to me and said they were trying to trade me, thats when it went bad. I know its not a rumor, I know its a fact.
They called me. They called me and my agent. Talked to both of us.
Samuel and Asomugha have started all six games this year for the Eagles, while Rodgers-Cromartie has played the slot. Samuel and Asomugha each have just one interception, and Rodgers-Cromartie has none.
Samuel said nobody from the Eagles called him last week as the trade deadline approached.
Just heard the rumors and stuff, he said. Andy cleared up everything for me, but everything has got a good guy and a bad guy. Maybe theyre playing the good-guy, bad-guy role, I dont know.
Samuel said hes happy with his contract, which pays him 5.9 million this year, 8.4 million in 2012 and 10.4 million in 2013.
For the fans, Im here, as long as I get paid on Tuesday, Im going to go out and do my job to the best of my ability each and every Sunday, he said. I play for the fans and I play for my teammates, and thats what its all about. Everybody has other issues, contract issues, whatever, and you just deal with it accordingly. Like I always have.
Later Wednesday, Reid issued a statement saying that he had spoken to Samuel about his remarks.
Samuel also briefly addressed reporters late in the day after speaking with Reid.
I am aware of how Asante felt and we have since talked," Reid said. "We both left with a positive feeling going forward.
"As I have said previously, when we acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha, we had received numerous calls on the availability of our cornerbacks. After discussing significant trade offers with other teams, we decided to keep all three cornerbacks on our team.
"Asante is a valuable member of our team and we appreciate all that he brings to this organization. As far as my relationship with Howie and Joe, I have a great deal of respect for both of them and I know we are all on the same page.
As he was leaving the complex, Samuel acknowledged meeting with Reid and said it was a productive meeting.
Me and coach talked and obviously I let my emotions get the best of me," he said. "Im happy to be here. Everything is settled. He explained to me how the business works and Im that much more educated on how the business works in the NFL, and everything is good. Lets get a win Sunday."
E-mail Reuben Frank at email@example.com.