BB/SP, masters of the cap game, are quietly thanking their lucky stars that Asante has announced his intention to hold out. Here's why: If Asante plays for us next year it is a one year $7.8M bet on his on the field performance. If Asante plays at the level of an average pro bowl corner back, the bet is a push. We paid $7.8M, and we got roughly the same amount of talent. If Asante plays like the best CB in the NFL, he's worth $10M-12M. We win the bet by $2-4M. If Asante plays like he did during the first 75% of his NFL career (or worse, get injured) he's worth maybe $2M of cap space. We lose $6M (or more). Unless you think that Asante is a future hall of famer, this is a lousy bet. Factoring in a few our need for Asante this season, I think it would be a modestly positive event if he plays for us on the tag this season. But nobody should be jumping up and down at the prospect of paying $7.8M for one year of Asante. The expected value of his talent is roughly equal to (probably a little less than) what we'd be paying him. But as trade bait, Asante could fetch us a first rounder. If you look at our last 5-10 first rounders, I think its conservative to say that, on average, each of them has supplied us with (or is on pace supplying us with) over $10M more value than salary cap cost over their first five years. Trading "roughly zero" for $10M would be a huge win for the Pats. By telling the whole world that he wants a trade, Asante makes it easier for us to ship him to another team. If we offered another team a straight up trade for Asante, they'd know that we have doubts about his ability to reprise his 2006 performance. But with Asante whining at the top of his lungs, we can actively talk trade and the "fortunate" team that receives him will be none the wiser. There's only one small catch to all of this. Which team is going to be stupid enough to trade a #1 pick for Asante Samuel AND give him the huge money he's looking for? Surely after last year's Seattle trade, teams are going to be wary of giving the Patriot's another #1 pick for an overpriced player. I don't know if there is anyone out there who is that stupid, but I do know that the louder Asante screams, the easier it will be to part them from their #1 pick in 2008.