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Asante Samuel and the "no franchise tag" agreement

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Armen Da Pats Fan, Aug 29, 2007.

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  1. Armen Da Pats Fan

    Armen Da Pats Fan Rookie

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    Okay, so help me out here, those of you who are, admittedly, much more well-versed in NFL contracts and rules and such, than myself.

    This whole holdout by Asante Samuel was over the Pats agreeing to NOT franchise Asante next season?

    If a player is franchised, do they not get a salary that is averaged among the top 5 in the league or something like that, basically guaranteeing them big $$$$?

    I mean, I love Asante, but is he really worth $7.79 million? Heck no. The franchise tag worked like a golden goose for him!

    In that case, if I was a player like Asante, I would WANT my team to franchise me every year! I could play year-to-year and always be getting a top salary every time.

    One arguement, I suppose, would be the security of the a long-term deal, but it's not like getting the long-term deal in the NFL really means anything, because these contracts are not guaranteed, correct? (See Drew Bledsoe's $100 million deal with the Pats a few years back.)

    To me, this actually works out better for the Pats, in that, now that Asante has persuaded the Patriots to agree NOT to franchise him, he is basically playing for his big $$$ contract next year.

    And what do the Pats give up? Not much. They just agree to NOT pay Samuel as one of the top 5 next season and it also gives them another full season, free agent period and draft to prepare for life without Asante Samuel.

    Also, if last year was any indication, I guess that means we are going to get a HUGE season out of Asante!



    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2007/08/29/samuel_made_up_ground/
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In terms of dollars it's even worse than you stated because a second Franchise (the last allowed) is a 20% raise = $9.36M next year.

    You are correct that it puts the onus on Samuel to have another huge year - he's playing for his contract.

    The reason I would have Franchised him is he will still want a long term deal so if he could find a team willing to do it, as he probably would, we could then sign and trade him which entails getting something for him AND controlling where he goes (aka not to the Jets, Chargers or Broncos).

    As it stands we seem like we'll be getting a 2009 comp pick, a #4 or maybe a #3 depending on what he signs for.
  3. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    They do not get that one big contract with the big bonus.

    Since they could be injured and washed up at anytime, they want that one multi year contract while they are a hot commodity.
  4. naclone

    naclone Rookie

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    It all comes down to guaranteed money. there were a couple notable signing bonuses handed out to corners this offseason and Assante wants to capitalize on that development.

    $20 million guaranteed is more than 7.79 million.
  5. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Pretty sure Samuel doesn't want you to be his agent. Players want big money up front so if the get hurt or have an off year they are taken care of. Getting franchised every year means you have to perform at a top level each year. The only player I can remember getting it year after year was Orlando Pace, and every year he help out causing a disruption to the team.

    In the past three years the Patriots have:
    1) given Seymour extra cash to come into camp
    2) allowed Branch to leave and get the contract he wanted
    3) given Samuel the potential for no Franchise tag next year

    The Patriots are shrewd negotiators but they are not invincible. Each year they gave up something to get something.

    1) Got Seymour back in camp
    2) Got a number 1 pick and ended a distraction*
    3) Got their top CB into the fold to help with a Superbowl run

    *The whole Branch situation still leaves a mark, he would have helped the team in 06 and provided some stability at the position instead of the musical chairs that is now going on.
  6. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    Obviously, it will be harder to get the deal he wants with the team he wants if he has to deal only with teams willing to trade something for him.

    As has been said, I don't think we really wanted to re-franchise him and I personally think it's just not right to hold these guys hostage over the years.

    We could have traded him if we wanted to this year.
  7. Armen Da Pats Fan

    Armen Da Pats Fan Rookie

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    So it's really about the signing bonus.

    But do you think anyone will give Asante Samuel a $20 million sigining bonus?!?!

    I mean, in all truth, the guy has had one "star quality" season. Other than that, he has been good and solid, but not among the NFL elite.

    He has to put a few of them together, ala Champ Bailey, Ty Law, et al, before we start talking about that kind of dough in Foxboro!
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
  8. Armen Da Pats Fan

    Armen Da Pats Fan Rookie

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    And in that sense, I like this deal.

    So often, these players and agents lose sight of what a negotiation means.

    A negotaition does not mean one side or the other seeks to bleed the opponent dry and get everything they can out them. It means that both sides come up with a deal that is agreeable and mutually beneficial to both of them.
  9. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    Um...yes. I do. AND I think they'd give up a #1 pick to do it. But now they won't. Because the Patriots caved despite having all the leverage.
  10. Armen Da Pats Fan

    Armen Da Pats Fan Rookie

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    I think Pats fans might be a bit skewed about Asante's value or worth.

    Let's not forget that this dude has really had one outstanding season.

    He is not an elite CB in the NFL IMO. I can't even believe Nate Clement got the $$$ he got, and he's a proven veteran. The market is way out of whack.

    I know he won't get that money here, and rightfully so.

    Maybe from a desperate team (ie Bucs, Lions, Bills).

    But in a sense, even if you feel like the Pats caved, and lost out on a #1, they DO get to use him for one more year and he will be playing his arse off for that fat contract. You know that.

    So, it's not a total loss.
  11. Michigan Dave

    Michigan Dave Rookie

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    He certainly is among the best at what he does. I can't think of 5 better corners, and he's still very young. He played well before last season, so the "one big season" analysis is bunk. This is a young player progressing. The market isn't out of whack, because depth at that position is scarce right now. Therefore, the elite players are being rewarded accordingly. I wouldn't be so sure that he won't get top dollar here if he performs like he has recently. The Pats have shown that they will pay top dollar to top players. They probably won't exceed the market, but we're not dealing with a cheap franchise.

    I don't feel like either side caved. It is beneficial to both, and the Pats still have a chance to re-sign him next season to a long term deal. We'll just see what happens.
  12. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But by your logic they caved to Seymour and Branch as well so I guess you need to rethink their negotiation philosophy for them based on what you (think you) know.

    As a fan of this multi-championship team I am always interested to see what they do. I enjoy trying to figure out in advance, based on what I've observed them do in the past, what they most likely will do in the present or the future. But I would never be foolish enough to believe they screwed up if they didn't do what I believed they should do because I realize I'm just a fan and my opinion is formed from the outside gazing in. This is their business, they are professionals, and they been doing business in this league for 30 odd years. The last several of which have been mighty successful (by league standards) I might add.

    After listening to him on his WEEI wrap up show last season I believe that Bill had some genuine regrets about the FO's performance in the 2006 season. He watched his undermanned team claw it's way to the AFCC and basically miss another Superbowl that was as likely slam dunk a win for them as it was for Indy, given the NFC representative. They came up short because (even absent the flu) they didn't have sufficient personnel available to field a winning team in the second half of that game. And they found themselves in that position because they didn't have sufficient personnel to win one more regular season game that would have clinched their staying home throughout the playoffs. I think he realized that absent Branch and Law, two players he hoped/planned to field in 2006, his team was fairly hamstrung all season into a less favorable position than THEY deserved to be given how well they performed in the final analysis.

    Everyone makes mistakes, players, coaches, GM's... The only thing BB will not tolerate from his players is repeatedly making the same mistake. It was pretty obvious out of the gate this year that the message he was sending this team was I will not make the same mistake again at your expense. He went after the players he wanted and believed he needed agressively and with a vengence, and landed even more than he likely imagined he could. This team is loaded, so if they don't win this season it will not be because they were undermanned out of the gate. Injuries can still happen, but he has amassed redundant talent like in no other off season, so the FO has more than held up it's end of the bargain. This was his way of showing the team that walked off the field in Indy devastated that he was proud of them and thought they deserved to be champions based on their performance and missed out primarily because of shortcomings in his performance (as defacto GM).

    And that is why Asante is here today, because a 2008-2009 draft pick doesn't help THIS team. This is Bill's way of assuring his team that while he believes that the system puts them in a position to win, it appreciates that it still requires sufficient talent. And this FO does in fact appreciate talent that can play well within this system.
  13. John Moynahan

    John Moynahan Rookie

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    "In Foxboro" is the key phrase there.
    By franchising him he can only negotiate with New England.
    If he could talk to all 32 teams, it only takes one general manager to give him the kind of big long-term contract that he's looking for.
  14. bbabin

    bbabin Rookie

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    Great post Mo. I think it's important to note the trade-off between setting a precedent/caving and fielding the best team at any given time. Although there's no way that BB isn't thinking about the future at all times, sometimes its important to do what's good for the franchise NOW.

    Think of it this way: If Asante did not play this year and again we were knocked out of the playoffs due in part to a poor defensive performance how would we feel about this compromise?

    I realize that's a big hypothetical but it's hard to argue with the strategy of fielding the best team possible without mortgaging the future, which I believe they have done.
  15. DW Toys

    DW Toys Rookie

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    Cousin,
    Very eloquintly put. But if you could arrange a trade one of our O-Line extras and Samuel to the Raiders say (who can use OL help), for Huff or Asomugha and a pic, now you have the makings of a fair trade and value for all, and we don't get a diappointing forth rounder comp pic for a first round value like Samuel. "Starting all 16 games for Oakland in 2006, Asomugha intercepted eight passes, returning one for a touchdown. He also contributed 50 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery."
    Yes, this is perfect world scenario stuff, but what a waste to develop a good DB and have another team get the return while he is still a very young player.
    Hey, Thomas was near 30 and I can justify that release for the Ravens, but Assante is still young.
    I like the trade route for a choice even. Rememebr this, even though he is playing for a 2008 financial score, he will not want to take that extra chance to hurt himself. Nobody has mentioned this. A tweak will become an issue with him this year.
    DW Toys
  16. mcbee

    mcbee Banned

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    Here's why it makes sense.

    Samuel is overstating his value...so if the pats DID franchise him next year they'd be stuck with him, as Samuel wouldn't agree to a new contract with a new team. He'd think they weren't paying enough.

    So if the Pats DID franchise him, SAmuel COULD sign the franchise thus obligating the pats to pay him almost 10M. It is guaranteed when signed, IIRC.

    I don't think the pats want to do that under any circumstances. They don't even want to risk having the franchise out there, because if he signs it, it's guaranteeed. The pats would then have to RISK trying to trade him....and suppose they couldn't? Stuck with 10M to this jerk.

    So the Pats basically gave up a right they didn't want anyway. Plus it says to samuel that he needs to play really hard in order to get his big money.

    What's kind of confusing is the "we won't franchise you if you play in x% of the plays"....well if he plays in less than x%, why would you WANT to franchise him? He'd either be injured or a malcontent.
  17. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Please remember that If Asante injures himself badly this season, his value and future paydays drop since he only has a 1 year contract. Asante is taking substantive personal risk here.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
  18. FortressX

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    Now they have given up this option.
    This is a cave in plain and simple.
  19. denverpatsfan

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    I guess he will be a Jet next season. Mangenius will get his man afterall.
  20. primetime

    primetime Rookie

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    Why would the Raiders trade Asomugha for Samuel? Not only is he a better player, but Samuel would cost more and the Raiders already have Asomugha. That trade makes no sense; throwing a backup offensive lineman into the picture doesn't make it anymore appealing.
  21. mcbee

    mcbee Banned

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    It's not a cave if you give up something you under no circumstances would want anyway.
  22. alamo

    alamo praedica numerum! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You answered your own question, without realizing it. You gave a series of arguments why they would never franchise him, then you wonder why they have retained that right under some circumstances.

    It's obvious! It's because your earlier assertion that they would never consider franchising him next year is just plain wrong. If they didn't care, as you say they don't, they would have completed this deal in July.
  23. mcbee

    mcbee Banned

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    So they would franchise him if he doesn't play much. That makes sense to you.

    Nothing you said indicates they wanted this right. You have no basis for saying he would have shown up if they had done this in July. Maybe Samuel wanted to threaten to hold out hoping he would get a long term deal with another team. That would make sense. When he didn't get that and realized he'd have to show up, the Pats were willing to throw him this bone, seeing as how they don't want to pay this guy 10M next year anyway.

    Yes, that is logical. Paying 10M to a one year wonder...seems unlikely.
  24. drakesta101

    drakesta101 Rookie

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    I'm going to preface this by saying this is a really optimistic spin/possibility/take on how the it might have played out:

    Ok - Well I'd like to start off by saying I think the way the negotiations went down seems a tad strange. I mean, the Patriots could have made these concessions long ago, so why didn't they? Why didn't Asante call them and ask them for these demands on the phone?
    Anyhow, Asante flew down on his own on Sunday Night, after publicly declaring he might hold out until week 10 during the summer. Most prognosticators suggested this was hogwash, citing the amount of money he was going to collect for all 17 weeks as a huge deterrent. Perhaps the Patriots were surprised by his actions to show up 2 weeks before the season instead of the day before to just collect his checks, and out of good faith for his return told him, "Asante, we are happy you decided to show when you did and we want to reward you...how about we agree to not tag you next year if you play a X number of plays or we win X number of games. Samuel holds the pen and says "Uhh Ya, let's get you on the phone with my agent and bang this thing out" Samuel in his head is thinking, wow this front office isn't so bad, maybe we can work out something long-term later after all. After the negotiations, Samuel is happy and motivated to play for the Patriots in 2007 and is quoted as saying the next day, per the Herald:
    “I love my team. It’s always been a great organization. We’ve always had great fans, great players, great coaching. We’ve been doing good since I’ve been here. I’m happy to be here and I would love to be here for the rest of my career”

    During the summer bridges were burned and a long-term deal was never hammered out. Maybe the Patriots really want this guy long-term and feel this is the best route in doing so. Negotiating with him after this season might be an easier task, as they Samuel's camp won't have that 10 interception stat or anything close to it, to lean on. Maybe they decided they weren't going to franchise him again anyways, so why not make him feel happy while he is here, with his play and mind unfettered by the thoughts of "great I'm playing my ass off only to be franchised again." Who knows what really happened behind those doors, but I think the front office knew what they were doing.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
  25. JoeSixPat

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    Win win if you ask me... any organization knows they need to use the Franchise tag carefully - and it is NOT meant to lock players up for multiple years either - just to transition.

    Sending a message that the team is going to get tough and not give into ultimatums is good - but so too is realizing that a team doesn't do well to force disgruntled players to remain here.

    It's all about balance - forcing Asante's hand to play this season, but giving a good faith opportunity to have him avoid a franchise tag next year strikes me as wise football politics.
  26. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson Rookie

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    I agree. I'd rather see him sit out to week 10 this year, knowing that we could trade him for a high draft pick in the off season.
  27. dhamz

    dhamz Rookie

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    And if someone were to tell you doing this costs the Pats HFA and another Super Bowl is it worth it?

    No one knows for sure if that would have occurred but that possibility is what the front office was weighing when they made the decision. Every game counts in the AFC and being without their best corner for 10 weeks just so they could have the option to MAYBE franchise him again clearly wasn't something they were willing to do.

    They waited him out in hopes he would report without the condition for next year. When it became clear to the Pats he wasn't going to play until week 10, they did what was best for winning football games this year over the chance that they could be better off years down the road by trading him for a pick. When you have a Super Bowl caliber team, that is what you have to do this time of year.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2007
  28. KoolAidDrinker

    KoolAidDrinker Rookie

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    I'm glad he's back in camp. He appears happy and motivated. I think we are a better team with him than without him. I think the FO has done a great job this off season including bringing AS back into the fold. Now it's almost time to see how this season unfolds. This could be a VERY SPECIAL team. Can't wait!
  29. DaBruinz

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    What WE want has NO BEARING on what the team feels is appropriate.

    I agree, Samuel has only had one great season. He has issues with tackling. Unfortunately, there is something called market demand. The market demand wasn't such that Samuel could get a 20 million guaranteed contract from another team AND have that team give up 2 1st rounders. They'd be more than willing to sign him without the pick compensation.

    Sameul and his agent DID have a point. Samuel was looking for the guaranteed money that he'd get if he was franchised by the Pats 3 straight years.. Where they failed was in the realization that the Pats wouldn't pay him like that.

    Anyways, I think that all the stipulations are a smoke screen. I don't believe that the Patriots would have given up the franchise tag without the guarantee of a long term contract in place. Now, I KNOW they can't sign a long term deal now. But the Pats certainly COULD negotiate the contract and then negotiate an agreement where that contract would go into place as soon as the season ended. And that if Samuel didn't sign that agreed contract, then the Pats could slap him with the franchise tag.
  30. MoLewisrocks

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    No, they couldn't, because the agreement to not tag him is written in his contract, an agreement to enter a long term deal as soon as the season ends is the same as agreeing to a long term deal so it couldn't be written into the deal (which gets reviewed by the management council before it is in effect), and side agreements unless written are uninforceable.

    This was a good faith gesture that is pretty indicative that they do really want him long term even if they haven't been able to come to terms this off season. I always felt that was the case once they didn't trade him by draft day. His value was likely never going to be higher. Buy low, sell high. They didn't. They are now in fact hoping that his value drops just a little, back into the very good young corner range (which is all they really need or can afford in this system) as opposed to being touted as a top 5. If it does they will be able to get a long term deal done. If it doesn't they will get a 3rd rounder in 2009 in compensation rather than a late first or more likely early second in 2008 (or 2009 first) which may seem to some to be a tremendous loss only because they aren't factoring in the value of the opportunity to play this out for another 6 months and potentially get a deal done with him that they can financially live with.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2007
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