By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Eagles began their off-season conditioning program yesterday at the Novacare facility in South Philadelphia, and there was a surprise attendee. Asante Samuel, the subject of trade rumors dating back to last season, showed up with a message for Eagles fans; he wants to stay.

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“Of course, I love it here. This is my home. I’ve never been to a place I love more than Philadelphia,” Samuel said in an interview on the Philadelphia Eagles website. “It’s up to management. I want to be here. I’ve always voiced that opinion. It’s up to them.”

After acquiring Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the trade for Kevin Kolb, and the surprise signing of Nnamdi Asomugha before last season, the Eagles found themselves having three Pro Bowl caliber cornerbacks. Though it’s a luxury Andy Reid said he was glad to have, all three corners play similar styles, most times forcing one to play out of position.

“The more time you spend together the more you get to jell, the better things are,” Samuel said in the same interview. “We jumped right into training camp (last year). A lot of people didn’t know a lot of things. We had two new corners. They had to catch on at a fast pace.”

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Trading Samuel seemed like the most likely scenario for the Eagles, as it would free up cap space and likely bring something of value in return.

Samuel expressed his unhappiness last season when his name came up in trade talks, suggesting general manager Howie Roseman treated the team like it was a fantasy football squad.

Do you think the Eagles should keep Samuel? Let us know in the comments.

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