Cornerback Asante Samuel joined his Eagles teammates on Monday morning at the NovaCare Complex for the start of the offseason conditioning program.
There have been reports that teams have inquired about what it would take to acquire the four-time Pro Bowl cornerback. In a one-on-one interview with Bo Wulf of PhiladelphiaEagles.com, Samuel admitted that the reports have caught his attention.
"Any time your name comes up, of course you're going to pay attention," Samuel said. "It's my future. I'm not going to dwell on it or whatever, but I just know the Eagles' main focus is to win a Super Bowl and I think I'm an important part of that, so we'll see how it goes."
Samuel was the team's big-ticket free agent acquisition in 2008 and helped the team reach the NFC title game that season. In 2009 and 2010, Samuel led the NFC in interceptions. Last year, Samuel had three interceptions and returned one for a touchdown. He was targeted 69 times all season, according to Stats Inc., and allowed just 31 receptions for 386 yards.
With 45 career interceptions, the 30-year-old Samuel ranks fourth among all active players. Samuel insisted that he wants to remain an Eagle.
"Of course, I love it here. This is my home. I've never been to a place I love more than Philadelphia," Samuel said. "It's up to management. I want to be here. I've always voiced that opinion. It's up to them."
Last year, the Eagles brought in two other Pro Bowl cornerbacks - Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The transition was tough as Asomugha had an expanded role in the defense and Rodgers-Cromartie played inside for the first time in his career. With a full offseason, Samuel thinks the three could thrive in the same defense.
"The more time you spend together the more you get to jell, the better things are," Samuel said. "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."
Samuel has invested time in Philadelphia this offseason with his Bring It Home Single Moms charity as part of the Asante Samuel Foundation, which provides cost-efficient homes for single mothers functioning on a low-income. Samuel was the son of a single mom, Christine.
"It's basically to help the future of the kids. A lot of people grow up with single parents and basically your mom. A lot of us grew up that way," Samuel said. "I have a charity where we help build houses and put them in a home and teach them life skills and things of that nature."
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