A. Samuel, Patriots In Contract Staredown
Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs isn't the only player league-wide who's talking about his disenchantment over being named his team's franchise player. New England Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel is grumbling as well.
Samuel expressed his displeasure last week during an interview with the NFL Network. He said he'd like to be traded if he and the Patriots are unable to work out what he regards as a suitable longterm contract. Samuel, who tied the Denver Broncos' Champ Bailey for the NFL lead last season with 10 interceptions during the regular season, apparently is seeking a deal with about $20 million in guaranteed money.
The Patriots certainly aren't new to contract stare-downs, and the club's most recent experience with one might work against Samuel if he thinks he's going to get traded to a new team. The Patriots traded holdout wide receiver Deion Branch last year, getting a first-round draft pick from the Seattle Seahawks. But they were woefully shorthanded at wideout last season without Branch, and what might have been a Super Bowl season instead ended with a near-miss loss in Indianapolis in the AFC title game.
Samuel would have a salary of $7.79 million next season if he remains the Patriots' franchise player.
By Mark Maske |
April 9, 2007; 10:13 AM ET
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