Saturday, February 17, 2007
Samuel Gets Franchised
The New England Patriots have announced that they are putting the Franchise Tag on CB Asante Samuel, which at minimum will keep Samuel with the team through the 2007 season for guaranteed $7.79 million.
NFL Network's Adam Schefter broke the story, and immediately jumped to the conclusion that the move "sets the stage for another ugly mess between the Pats and one of the team's key players." A reasonable assumption, given the fact that Samuel's agent Alonzo Shavers made it clear that his client wouldn't be real happy if the team tagged him. No one should expect any other reaction from a guy who has a tattoo that says "Get Paid."
But a funny thing happened. Shavers and Samuel are both OK with this development. They released a statement Friday night saying "We don't look at it as a bad thing. This is a step in the process in working toward a long term deal." So what we've got here is a player agent having a reasonable, thoughtful reaction to a team using its collectively bargained leverage to keep a player that was about to cash in on his first big contract...Expect Congress to convene an emergency session to declare this a national holiday.
The big winner here is Buffalo's Nate Clement. Samuel is not the player Clement is, but he was the only free agent CB on the market in Clement's class. The price of poker on top CB's just went waaay up.