PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Unhappy he was trade bait, Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel criticized management and compared the team’s front-office to people who play fantasy football.
“Couple people upstairs might not want me, but who cares. They’ve probably never played football,” Samuel said Wednesday. “It’s a business and they run it like a business and they’re going to do what they need to do. They’re playing with a lot of money, playing fantasy football, doing their thing.”
Asked if he was referring to general manager Howie Roseman and president Joe Banner, Samuel replied: “Howie and Joe? I don’t know, do they fit the comment I made? “There ya go. You think they’re upstairs playing fantasy football with the owner’s money?”
Samuel, a four-time Pro Bowl pick, said he doesn’t have any problem with coach Andy Reid.
“Me and Andy talked, cleared it up, everything is good,” Samuel said. “Everything has been good with me and Andy. That’s my guy, that’s who I play for, that’s who I continue to play for. I go to war for Andy. It is what it is, all the other stuff upstairs.”
Samuel’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors since Philadelphia acquired cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in July.
“When they traded for Dominique, I was happy. When they signed Nnamdi, definitely was happy,” Samuel said. “But when they made the call to me and said they were trying to trade me, that’s when it went bad. I know it’s not a rumor. I know it’s a fact. They called me. They called me and my agent. Talked to both of us.”
Reid spoke to reporters early Wednesday, and said neither he nor Samuel were going to discuss the trade speculation.
But after Samuel’s critical comments post-practice, Reid issued the following statement:
“I am aware of how Asante felt and we have since talked. 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.”
Samuel signed a six-year, $57 million contract with the Eagles in 2008. He’s due to make $8.4 million next year and $10.4 million in 2013.
The Eagles (2-4) meet the Cowboys (3-3) in Philadelphia on Sunday night.
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