The Eagles frolicked through the final real practice of 2011 without Asante Samuel today. Eagles coach Andy Reid said corner Samuel (hamstring) officially is out for Sunday's season finale against the visiting Redskins.
Samuel was not available in the locker room after practice, and wideout DeSean Jackson declined an interview request with a cursory shake of his head. So there was no word from the two most prominent Eagles most observers feel are unlikely to still be with the team when it reassembles in 2012.
Will either Samuel or Jackson ever be interviewed again as an Eagle? The team owes Samuel $19 million over the next two seasons, and has had a hard time integrating his "off" coverage style into Juan Castillo's defense. Jackson will becaome an unrestricted free agent if the team doesn't franchise him for about $11 million a year. Given the animosity and mutual disappointment that has built through two seasons of not being able to come to contract agreement with Jackson, it seems possible the Eagles will protect their rights with the franchise tag, then seek a trade.
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick today repeated his prediction that Jackson will return, but Vick acknowledged that is just what he hopes, that he does not have inside information.
"You can just see the glow in his eyes when he's out on the field with the guys, dominating," Vick said of Jackson. "I think it'll all take care of itself. I'm just hoping -- that's all I can do, I don't make any decisions ... We love DeSean. Coach Reid loves DeSean. Everybody loves DeSean. He's our guy ... It all remains to be seen."
Running back LeSean McCoy practiced fully. He was listed as questionable, but Reid and McCoy said McCoy will play. "I feel like I'm going to play well," McCoy said, though he declined to say whether his sprained ankle would allow him to be 100 percent. "I'm going to go out there and I'm going to play my heart out."