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Can we re-unite Samuel with Branch?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by dryheat44, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    The facts:

    1. Asante Samuel is not in camp, having not signed his franchise tender.
    2. Asante Samuel is scheduled to hit Unrestricted Free Agency in 2008.
    3. Marcus Trufant is also scheduled to hit Unrestricted Free Agency in 2008.
    4. Marcus Trufant is not holding out of camp.
    5. The two cornerbacks are similarly talented. I think Trufant is slightly better, but Samuel is much more popular, due to the teams they play on.
    6. Samuel cannot sign a long-term deal with New England, but can with Seattle.
    7. Samuel will report to camp with a long-term deal, or even a promise not to franchise him in 2008.
    8. The Patriots have cap room to sign Trufant to a reasonable long-term deal, assuming he doesn't demand Champ Bailey dollars.
    9. The Patriots can alternately let him go to free agency and net a primo comp pick.
    10. The Patriots are thin at CB.
    11. A trade would get each player out of the conference and prevents a divisional rival from getting him for at least one year.

    Why not offer a straight-up swap? The Seahawks might say no, but they might say yes, even if we have to sweeten the deal with a conditional draft pick.
  2. Krazy Koz

    Krazy Koz Rookie

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    I'd do this in half of a second, but it'd never happen.
  3. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    Well, sort of... I mean, according to this logic, he was scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency this past year too... But he can always be franchised...
    Well, he can sign a long term deal with New England and, quite honestly, I think that is what he would prefer. But only for the right dollars, which NE does not appear interested in offering.
    You think Trufant is better, but that the Patriots can sign him for cheaper dollars than they could Samuel..? Sounds like wishful thinking to me...
    I think the Patriots made a mistake with Branch last year and ya know what..? While they will never make any public statement on the issue, I think they agree. It would be best for NE to maintain a hard line stance with Samuel, and that is what I expect them to do.
  4. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not sure why Seattle would make this move they still have Trufant at a very managable salary number (last year of rookie contract).

    Personally I like Samuel better, he is younger (12 days) and has improved every single year. He is more of a playmaker, more INTs, more INTs for TDs, etc.. Samuel won't get 10 picks again but I think he is still on the rise and knows the Patriots systems.

    It will be interesting if both players hit UFA next year if the Patriots kick Trufant's tires. I assume both will be franchised unless they get locked up long-term.

    p.s. I still think Samuel shows up in time to start collecting checks (just prior to game 1)

    Trufant - http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/6347/career;_ylt=AiVRH0TZ__LlSY2a.MPDh4T.uLYF

    Samuel - http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/6456/career;_ylt=AiVRH0TZ__LlSY2a.MPDh4T.uLYF
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  5. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    Well, no, he can't until after this season ends, that's part of how the franchise tag works.
  6. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    It I were in Samuel's position I wouldn't report until after the 3rd pre-season game. If he does not do that then, it's time to be concerned. Right now there is no need to be concerned.
  7. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    True. The only way this works is that if Seattle thinks that Samuel's a better fit for their defense, and if they expect Trufant to be difficult to re-sign next year. I don't know if they have the franchise tag available for next year, or if they have other players they might want to use it on. The franchise number certainly isn't going to go down next year, so if they have the cap room available, they would probably prefer to avoid it. Of course, they could avoid that number by signing either guy to a long term deal. I wonder why they haven't extended Trufant yet.

    I also think Samuel comes in to play by 9/1. But I'd rather have a guy in camp now to learn the system. I'm also banking on Trufant being an easier re-sign, which might not be the case. However, the fact that he's not holding out during the last year of his rookie deal for a new signing bonus in light of the Clements and Chicago contracts is refreshing, and may indicate he's not all about the Benjamins. Of course, that was true about Asante at this point last year as well.....
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  8. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    That is correct and that is what I meant, although I admit my words are very unclear. When I wrote they could sign him to a long term deal, I was still in the mode of "options for 2008."

    I apologize for my poorly worded statement.
  9. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    I agree with this statement and I still think that is what is going to happen. Right now, he's just enjoying an extended summer vacation instead of doing two-a-days. Sitting out until the second half of August won't affect his bottom line, and that's his primary concern
  10. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He is not risking getting a pre-season injury that will effect his long term value. So, I think he will be OK coming in after the 3rd pre-season game. He knows the system already and two weeks would be ample working with the personnel.
  11. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    I would take Trufant and his bargain rookie contract. We could spend the extra millions locking up other players. The later in the preseason it gets the less likely we'll be able to trade him for another player and more likely a draft pick.
  12. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Because Trufant knows their system and is in camp and Samuel doesn't and hasn't been.

    The FO obviously wants Samuel here for $7.8M this year or they would have traded him in April. If they want him here before the season starts they will sweeten the offer. If they don't, then I guess it's not that big a deal to them when he shows as long as eventually they know he will have to.

    It's not the approach I would have taken, but then that's why I'm a fan and they're getting paid the big bucks to run the organization. He's certainly not causing an angst filled distraction similar to the one Branch's absence caused.

    If they hope to keep him beyond this season (i.e. they would still like to get a long term deal done which they no longer can until the season is ending) then waiving the 2008 tag isn't just giving up something for nothing - it would get him in now and represent a good will gesture and give them almost 6 months to evaluate each others positions/offers/demands further in hopes of getting a deal done. Conversely if they are determined to re-tag him to trade him in 2008, then they must be comfortable with the prospect that he will show up eventually and provide sufficient value for this season when he does.

    Trading for Trufant would just be postponing the inevitable since it's unlikely he would be happy being traded in mid pre season entering a contract year or being expected to give a reasonably discounted home town deal to people he doesn't know when an overheated FA market is also within his reach. Assuming any player will be reasonable in the current atmosphere is really just setting yourself up to be disappointed. Only a rare few will, and it's based on their having some over riding desire to be here (or somewhere). Absent that, they all want the best financial deal the market will bear.

    Trufant was selected with the 11th pick in the 2003 draft. Can't find his contract terms readily but he did pocket a $6.5M signing bonus on likely an $10M+ slotted deal (not counting any escalators). And it was a 5 rather than 6 year deal so that is why he is likely OK with playing it out. They have most likely already entered preliminary discussions with him, and one reason Mora Jr. was brought in was to elevate his level of play to pro bowl status. Mora recently gushed about Troufant's chances of reaching that level, which would make trading for a corner who has also not yet made the pro bowl, hasn't had an off season in their program or anyone else's for that matter, and is asking for Champ Bailey money a real head scratcher...
  13. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Bit he is risking coming back and NOT being as part of the team as he should be. Do you think BB is thinking that he's walking right into some starting job??
    Not happening..and the longer he stays out..the harder it will be for him to return. THAT is a big risk he is taking..for if he does not have a good year..no big bucks next year..that simple. THAT COULD effect any big contract..so it's a balancing act..but then again, ANY player on the last year of a contract is facing the same situation. Samuel is HARDLy special. he may KNOW the system..but that does not translate into knowing the defensive backfield the team has this year. I agree a few weeks should do it..AFTER teh 2nd game is when he SHOULD be in camp. Even then, the third preseason game is the MORE REAl game of the 4..the dress rehearsal..and if he's in his first week..he's left out. He's barely in camp while others are already in a groove.
    you might take camp lightly, but I do not think the coaches and the team does. He's behind now..and will only to continue to be with the hold out AND many more injuries happen when a player is trying to get up to speed faster..so?? He might be making himself MORE of a risk than less so. But we'll have to see how he plays it. i am not concerned at all..he's only hurting himself.
  14. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Everyone on the team understands the situation. Samuel will be welcomed with open arms. And, BB will play the best player at the position. If that is Samuel then he will play him come opening day, IF he reports with two weeks of practice left so he's ready.
  15. TomBrady'sGoat

    TomBrady'sGoat Rookie

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    This is silly (besides being one-sided in favor of NE).

    At some point, Asante will sign the tender and play. At that point, he will be welcomed back and given the opportunity to win the starting cornerback job. NE will benefit from him being around in the postseason, when he is needed most. NE will franchise him again, he'll be traded, and both sides will move on.

    I'm not psychic, I just utilize common sense.
  16. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    Why are you assuming a trade next year when they couldn't get one done this year? I can't imagine the Patriots franchising him again in 2008, and if they do, I think Asante will sign it immediately. He'll have made about 19 million guaranteed for two years work. They may or may not be able to work on a long-term deal at that point, but if nobody coughed up the trade compensation with him coming off of last season, I don't see it next year either. So we could repeat this scenario again next year.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  17. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    And that's what I don't get from Samuel's standpoint. Honestly, if Gay can stay healthy, is it out of the question for Hobbs and Gay to start, with Merriweather the nickel? And do we know that that lineup will perform worse than one with Samuel in there? The only thing we know right now is Samuel is more durable than Gay.
  18. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    Good post. I agree that it's a long shot (understatement), but the extension turned down by Samuel might be accepted by a guy coming off a one interception season and has already banked a decent contract.

    The benefits to New England would be to trade a malcontent for a player who will be in camp. Cornerback is the one position on the defense that a player who is in shape can walk in and function fine. You cover a receiver. Trufant is a good tackler, which helps. Given the necessary assumption that Trufant will come in on a new contract (similar to one offered Samuel), Belichick has locked up a player for a few years who, despite Mora's gushing, hasn't reached the elite status yet, but I think is comparable to Samuel.

    The benefits to Seattle would be to get a player under contract now, as opposed to a potential nasty negotiation next Spring, when the cap figure for cornerbacks figures to rise significantly. It is likely that they could sign Samuel now for less than Trufant next year.

    The drawbacks for the Patriots would be a case of another player getting what he wants by holding out, which may encourage like behavior down the road

    The drawback for Seattle would be a significant hit to their salary cap in 2007.

    Again, the only way this could ever happen is if Seattle thought Samuel was an upgrade, and if they thought things could get nasty with Trufant next year. It's a < 10% chance, but it's something that struck me this morning as something worth thinking about during the preseason.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  19. TomBrady'sGoat

    TomBrady'sGoat Rookie

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    because NE didn't have an incentive to trade him this year. they can let him play out the tag and re-tag him. they lose that option next year.

    next year they'll be looking at 3 options:
    1) sign Asante to an extension
    2) let him play the season and leave
    3) trade him

    #1 could happen if Asante blows BB's socks off and proves himself to be a special player. If Belichick decides that Asante is the real deal and worth losing either Warren or Wilfork then they could re-sign him. I don't really think Asante is that player, but it could happen. The likelihood is low, though.

    #2 is bad. #2 involves a $10M cap hit next year, Asante sitting out camp, and a comp pick. No thanks.

    That leaves us with #3. NE lowers its demands and accepts a #1 for Asante. No one wanted to trade two #1s for him, but someone will trade one. If not, you lower the price to a #2. It's still better than a comp pick and you lose the distraction and cap hit.
  20. TomBrady'sGoat

    TomBrady'sGoat Rookie

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    Woah woah. Put down the pipe. I'm hardly an Asante apologist but that's just silly.

    We know Asante is better than Hobbs because both started last years and it was obvious who the better player was. We can assume he's better than Gay because he's been starting for a few years and Gay hasn't. Yes Gay did a fine job in the '04 playoffs. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though. We can also assume he's better than Merriweather because he's a rookie. Asante's experience is a huge advantage the rookie doesn't have.

    The team would be able to get by without him, but the notion that the team might not be worse without him is outlandish.

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