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.


hardright said...

I posted this on the message board earlier today, but it's worth repeating here.

Never let it be said that the Patriots don't understand the market MOST of the time. Clearly, they misread the market for Deion Branch last summer, but in the end, Seattle is the team that comes out of that situation looking pretty dumb.

The Pats realized that the offseason in 2007--with so many teams having so much cap room available--was going to be crazy, with salaries for just above-average players reaching superstar levels.

So they acted quickly and locked up one of their key defensive players for at least the next 12 months.

This team was close...painfully close, to becoming only the 2nd team in league history to win 4 Super Bowls in 6 seasons, and I believe that BB and Pioli are none to eager to see the key, YOUNG components of the team start fleeing for greener pastures before another Super Bowl crown is won.

This move makes sense, even though it leaves them with a little less cap room heading into the free agent hunting season.

Jacob said...

I think that the Pats made the right move, and it's pretty cool to see that both parties are amicable about the situation.

Anthony said...

They're only being amicable for now.

If it was so amicable Asante would have signed the Franchise tender straight away as of now hes not signed it and until he signs it he doesn't have to report for any offseason work outs or training camp...Pats fans should be holding their breaths until the day he signs the tender. If he signs soon(like Edgerrin James did in his Franchise year) there will be no problems and he'll report to camp..but if he doesnt sign it..he can wait until the day before the regular season to sign missing all workouts and training camp and preseason and you know that won't go down well.

Also Franchising him might have laid to rest any thoughts the Pats have of resigning him ..taking him off the market is sure to drive up the price for Nate Clements and you know Asantes going to want a comparable pay packet to what Clements gets.