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Make an Example: Pros/Cons

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsFanInVa, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Gentlemen,

    I'm thinking of the Samuel situation, and every time I see "trade his ***** outta here" or something of that nature, I get a little steamed. Why? Because Branch could be seen as a precedent, and Samuel as a confirmation, that if you hold out or threaten to, you can get traded into the deal of your dreams, although your rights belong to New England.

    Here is how I see it:

    Samuel (last year, Branch,) have their rights and their tools under the CBA. This includes holding out, filing a grievance, and holding their breath until they turn blue. Whatever. I am not against this exercise of their rights.

    The team has its rights and tools under the CBA. This includes franchising a player, trading a player's negotiating rights (at the team's discretion,) cutting the player, etc.

    I am not sure these players could play much more hardball than they are now, under this system, short of leaving football. Somebody double-check that. IF Samuel filed a grievance, we now have a grievance on top of a holdout. What else could he do to the team?

    By comparison, the team is expected to make the player's dream come true, if not by paying him exactly what he wants -- lately that always seems like top dollar -- or trading him to someone who will.

    Let's discuss the idea of making this very, very hard on Asante -- all within the CBA, of course.

    The pros: the message gets sent. Make reasonable offers. Don't play hardball with us, we won't with you. Bargain in good faith, and the team will do the same. Yes, Asante "values himself" at 30M guaranteed and an average of $10M/year, according to all the reports we have talked about here. That delusion falls into the category of "his problem." The team does not have a cornerback. That falls into the category of "our problem" (with "our" meaning the team -- yes, this is all from the mgt.s point of view.)

    Well, we have "our problem." What else can Asante do to the Pats? Well, there is filing a grievance against the team, for exercising its rights. But unless the Pats have been firing shotguns at his agent or something, I don't understand the grounds.

    Shouldn't the Pats consider giving Asante a little taste of how big "his problem" can get?

    I don't say this because I hate the guy. I don't say it because I'm mean in general. I say it because this is the second year in a row that players have gone the hardball route. Again, you CBA and cap wizards explain to me how the players could be more hardball in their approach.

    So, one option I can think of is, let him sit for 10 games. Refuse to trade him. Make clear that it will not happen, and that he will be franchised again, no ifs, ands, or buts, come next off-season, if it is in the Pats' interests. (That's pretty much what they've done already, except perhaps not in those words.) Then... if all is going well... sit his happy ***** on the bench, and let him be irrelevant for a season.

    If all is not going well, let him audition this year, on the off chance that the Pats will let him go elsewhere. Then don't let him go anywhere with a winning record.

    I see the value in trades, I really do. But I also see the value of putting a stop to this behavior as best as we can.

    Now, the cons...

    Players would rightly view New England as a sick, hard-core negotiating "adversary." Some players would just plain never consider playing here. Some draftees would curse the day New England drafted them, and would do so the next day. People would make comments like "Yeah I could play for New England and make five dollars."

    And the fact is, this post is somewhat in anger, and in labor-management terms, is obviously management-biased. There is a tendency for fans to be that way, and God help me, I am a fan.

    Is it realistic to think the Pats can just plain stonewall an Asante Samuel, to send the message all the way around? What do we think is the percentage of players who think $10M is so much more than (for instance) $8M? 100%? 50%? somewhere in between?

    "Demanding" hometown discounts is downright silly. But for every Samuel, there is a Moss, accepting a cheap deal for the chance to prove himself again, and to play for a real contender.

    Should we, or should we not, start thinking about getting medieval on these guys?

    PFnV
     
  2. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    i like the hardball approach except that if he is put on the inactive list after holding out and signing the tender, then he will accomplish his goal of not risking injury. It would be a win for him.
     
  3. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    Vindictiveness sends the WRONG msg to the team
     
  4. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    PWP, why? Just playing Devil's advocate here.

    Think about it: IF you play hardball, we WILL be asses right back to you.

    IF you cut off your nose to spite your face, we WILL respond in kind.

    How many actually need the right to go balls-to-the-wall on their "big deal" negotiation? Is it everybody? Is it some but not others?

    I don't blame anyone for using the tools... I am just saying, what if the Pats make it so there are consequences?

    PFnV
     
  5. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You yourself cited the downside. Player perception, on the team and FAs.
    If Asante sits 10 games, fine. If he can crack the starting lineup in game 11,12, whatever, play him. If he can't, THEN he sits. Odds are injuries will open a spot. The team philosophy is to play the best player. If he sits out, he's a non-person. BB can manage that.
     
  6. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

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    "Make an example of him" is nothing more than emotional fanboy talk.

    BB is neither emotional or a fanboy. When Samuel shows up, he'll be judged based on football reasons alone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  7. PatsSteve1

    PatsSteve1 In the Starting Line-Up

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    IMO, BBioli don't hold grudges in these things. I recall many posts here about how BBioli would never have Ty Law back after calling BB a liar yet there he was back the season at good money. I think Bbioli do whatever they think will give them the best chance to win. Whatever they feel that is. I don't think they'll being vindictive does that. These situations are going to happen just about every year and 1 doesn't lead to another, IMO. Each player has different motives.
     
  8. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Exactly. BB isn't above briefly sitting someone for being a donk, but he's certainly not going to weaken the team while causing unnecessary trouble for himself.

    If Samuel comes back a week before game one he won't be a starter but he'll play on the sub package by the second week. If Samuel plays out of his mind - like he needs to to get a big payday - he'll be a starter by week 4 at the latest.

    Ditto for the week 10 scenario...BB won't make him sit just out of spite; but that doesn't mean Samuel will start enough games to be hot again as a FA.

    Samuel has blown this chance every which way....
     
  9. mesoslo

    mesoslo Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I think this coming season, one team or another will get hit with the injury bug, and asante samuel might be great bait for a trade.

    Basicly the patriots will play the first 9 games with a high powered offense and a vanilla BB defense.

    If dungy and the colts can do so can the patriots.

    Both BB and Asante know this, so they will both hold their positions, Asante will hope a team might want him for a late playoff push.

    But having Asante will just make it harder for other teams to scheme against BB, but BB can out scheme the other teams back.
     
  10. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    "Emotional fanboy talk" indeed. And your list of pros and cons would be...?

    Belichick is also savvy enough to know a trend when he sees one. Once again, "football reasons alone" can, for my money, include the outcome of future negotiations.

    Probably the truth is somewhere in the middle, that the Pats will be far more likely this time around to keep him under the tag, missing games, then tag him again next year (precisely the outcome Asante claims he feels is most odious.)

    I will definitely admit to emotionality while posting, and tied to unsubstantiated rumor of a grievance, no less.

    But it made me realize, the Patriots are not using the full set of tools available to them, and (at least in Branch's case,) these players are.

    For a number of reasons, my thought on this since the end of last season was a "franchise-to-trade" scenario, such as many here believe will be the case. For all we know, the whole ballet is a tacit agreement for Samuel to end up on someone else's roster prior to September. One day comes the announcement that he's sought and been granted permission to seek a trade, then a week or two later comes news of the blockbuster deal -- and at this point, we breathe a sigh of relief.

    But must we go through that every off-season? Why? Where is the yearly holdout threat on the Colts, or the Jets, or the Redskins, or the Texans, for that matter?

    I can not help but notice that those who leave routinely become potzers on their new teams, when they are not surrounded by the Pats' system and their old teammates. They are not cashing in (for the most part) on innate skills and pure physical talent. I don't know why those teams do not catch on, and in a way, it's a competitive advantage if the rest of the league is so eager to overpay.

    But at the same time, what's it to us if Asante Samuel is unable to showcase his talents elsewhere, or re-join the team 10 games into the season (for us)?

    What's it to us if the Pats march on to Arizona, and he never gets fitted for a ring?

    Annual holdout threats? Annual grievances? You think that isn't a little on the tired side right about now?

    Yeah, there's some emotion there. But there's also a solid fact at the basis of it, which is that the Pats are putting up with holdout threats every year -- and possible that grievance for the second year running as well.

    Yes, it is indeed tempting to say "screw it, take off the gloves." If one decided to do so, one would have very solid preventative reasons for it, provided that the consequences were of the intended, versus the unintended variety.

    But hey, as I understand it, "this team hates its coach" already!

    PFnV
     
  11. checkedout

    checkedout On the Game Day Roster

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    I agree that "we" should get medevil with him. He wasn't even a starter until injury made him one.
     
  12. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

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    There are no pros to the make an example approach unless you consider playing to emotional fans a pro.

    The only con that matters is that he would not be giving his team the best chance to win on Sunday to make a point over the business side of the sport. BB has always played the players who best give them a chance to win each week. You are suggesting making a business point - winning or losing games becoming secondary. Players in the locker room would have major issues with that.
     
  13. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Go back to when this was first discussed and I'm on record saying that if Samuel does hold out into the season, the team needs to draw a line in the sand:

    No trade

    Franchise him next season

    Let him hold out again.

    Make an example of him so other players think twice about trying the same thing.

    IF Samuel is smart he and his agent will forge a quiet agreement to be in camp in return for not being franchised next season... but the second that becomes a "demand" of Samuel, the team will be unable to give into such a "demand".

    The fact that we've not seen much from Asante's camp making such a demand gives me hope that such an agreement is being considered behind the scenes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  14. naclone

    naclone Practice Squad Player

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    I think it's important to remember the fundamental differences in the samuel situation versus the branch situation. Assante, technically, is not under contract. He is a free agent. Unlike branch, he played out the entirety of his rookie deal. in other words he's "earned" the right to hold out through his service time with the team. we may not like it, but that is the way it is. I side with the team more often with the player, as I did with the branch scenario. But I don't think Assante should be made an example of for potentially doing something that is well within his rights given his current status. the patriots understood full well what the possible ramifications of franchising samuel were versus getting a contract done prior to him becoming a free agent. and this is the decision they've made. i really don't think we should blame assante for exercising all the rights at his disposal. forget about the tattoo for a minute and try to separate this from the branch thing, because they are not the same.
     
  15. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    You are NOT completely correct calling him a free agent....he can not go to another club and sign a contract WITHOUT other clubs getting draft picks in return...THAT is hardly being free...It's more like a gray area..in between..and you are very correct, until he signs his tender he is NOT under contract. The Franchise tag is something that the union agreed upon so technically his 'earning" free agency has a stipulation that is connected to it that limits it. That Franchise tag is PART of the contract, whether he likes that or not. Yes, he can sit out, but he also will not be paid for that. Yes, he has a right to that, but look at it this way, do you honestly think Asante would be talking in 10 million a year figures if he was NOT franchised?? I really wonder. The Patriots put a tag on him basically that gave him a LARGE amount of money..average of teh best at that position. THAT is something I think a player should be happy about especially one who even at the half point in the year would have seen that money as way way off. So instead of accepting that he spits in teh face of the Patriots and says NOT enough. Good..that IS his right to do that BUT it is just as much EVERY fans right to call him a greedy scumbag. While it is NOT
    exactly teh same as the Branch thing, it has similarities....second tier players
    wishing to be paid much more than they are worth.
     
  16. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    What the Patriots should do is assess what is in the best interests of the team given their choices. Fortunately the powers-that-be in Foxboro are, unlike most fans, able to do this in a calm, reasonable and unemotional manner.

    IMHO (and this is just what I believe based on no substantial evidence other than pure hunch) they feel they botched last year's handling of Deion Branch. So this year they franchised Asante and they aren't going to let him go for anything short of the 2 1st rounders owed them in compensation if anyone else signed him (which ain't happening).

    I don't think they are going to "get medieval" but they just won't cave in this time. Don't get me wrong... if a long term deal can be worked out, they will gladly sign one with him. But in the meantime no amount of b*tching and moaning is going to get him out of the franchise tag.
     
  17. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    Ah yes... the great QuiGon-DannyBoy debates of '04... man I think he's still smarting at how wrong he was about that... of course, I never hesitate at the chance to remind him of such :D
     
  18. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I agree totally with what you are saying and feel that emotion as well in regard to what has happened last year and this. I too am tired of agents and second tiered players demanding much more than they are worth.
    And I agree totally that these players have used their rights totally and fully..and certainly they can, but I also think they look like dicks doing it and if one notices it, I really believe that public opinion is NOT on their side at all. THAt I believe is a good thing for that may in some small way prevent others from taking that path. I do think the team needs to play hardball as well. Being reasonable like last year did not work with Branch. But I do not think the team will ipso facto make a decision now with what they will do. A lot will depend on how Samuel proceeds in it as well as what is happening with the team. If he is in camp, then it will play out the best for both sides. Samuel will get to play out his season and the team will have a really solid defensive backfield. If he holds out some, even deep into training camp, the Patriots will make whatever moves needed to strengthen the backfield and go from there...it will be Samuel's loss. He will not be able to show anything if he is not playing; it's that simple. Now, if it gets to Game 10 and he makes his return, it will all depend on what is going on with the team. If all is going well, then he could be inactive or a nickel, THAT will depend. I agree, BB will put the best players out there to win; that is a given. On the other hand, he's not going to elevate a player who has sat out 10 games to a starting position if his starting corners are playing well. But on the other hand, if Samuel stays out like that, he's obviously made a decision to sit...and the gamble for him is his possibility of being irrelevent to the team...and thus lowering his chances of a big pay day. If injuries hit the club again in the backfield, he could come in and in a few weeks possibly MAKE a difference and thus push the stakes higher. In the larger picture, the safer way would be to report where he will be given a real opportunity to show if he can continue on his pace of becoming a great cornerback. But I have a gut feeling that might expose him for what he might be---a second tier corner, so I would NOT AT ALL be surprised if he holds out. For me the red flags would go up high if he sits...less so if he is out there in camp. Whatever happens, teh patriots will make any and all moves to win; that simple. But who might be the prima donna, greedy one that sits out next year?? Unfortiunately, I think there will always be one or two in a bunch that think THEY are worth much more than they are worth and will NOT wait for free agency. I do think the Patriots have to play soime hard ball in this as always giving in to a two year old's tantrums does not help them break the habit. I would sat the team needs to be as reasonable as the player they are dealing with. In other words, in this case to not negotiate "non-franchising" away easily.
     
  19. jct

    jct Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I disagree about make an example.
    This is a business negotiation.
    We will negotiate to win period.

    Please stop to consider for a second how a Samuel holdout could help the team:
    1) It saves about $5M in cap space for the future
    2) He must play his best after he returns
    3) We could win the superbowl with those advantages carrying forward to next season.

    So I say negotiate to win and hope for the best,
    However a holdout may well be a blessing for our team.
     
  20. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    JCT, I completely agree: you save money, he's heavily incentivized for the games when you need him, etc.

    JoeSixPat, I remember seeing the "hardball" line from someone back in the early Samuel days, and I was of the "franchise to trade" camp. There's no way to rule out that's exactly what's happening (on both sides,) on purpose (but of course with no collusion between the two sides. I'm pretty sure that would be wrong.)

    The Pats' initial position with Branch, too, was that they wanted two 1s for him, and they settled for one.

    So yet more precedent is being built.

    Dhamz and the rest of the "emotional fan" contingent: there are clearly pros and cons here, as I've gone on about at length. Now, disagreeing that there are pros and cons makes sense. You may believe that to be the case. But it's just plain dumb to throw the "emotional fanboy" terminology around, when the thread began and, on my part, returned to weighing of pros and cons - while admitting that yes, I do have a certain visceral reaction. It's worth considering that if a guy is recognizing it, and still making and hearing the arguments to the contrary, he may be capable of thought as opposed to reflex reaction based on emotion. Argue your case on its merits, like some of the other fine posters here on both sides.

    The point that "BB will put the best player available on the field, period," and the connection of that with the team's mindset, makes perfect sense to me, actually. He's the coach, not a management tool, and the deal was, way back in (gasp) the 90s, he would have control of the team, with no on-field meddling. He inherited that philosophy from the Parcells years... and it stood him in good stead. One could actually see BB getting up in arms if "told" not to play a guy.

    So that might -- MIGHT -- put a practical limit on medieval-getting.

    Now, it is worth considering that medieval-getting can, in fact, be phrased as negotiation by other means, just as the holdout is precisely that. The fact that the terminology is colorful should not erase the fact that the Patriots are under no obligation to play the guy. And the tacit assumption that he'll "win back" his old spot depends very much on how well he stacks up, rust and all, against what could turn out to be some (other) good talent. Again, he could be consigned to nickel. Or, in the medieval scenario, they could feel about going to war with the secondary they have by game 10.

    Well, Joe6P, I think I am coming around to your point of view. Patterns are being established (Branch then Samuel... next year, someone else...) I think we have this problem because there are those we see as game changers, then there are those who we see as good-not-greats. Samuel appears to be one of the latter. And even the game changers, the Bradys and Seymours, are not wrapped around the axle about being THE best paid guys at their positions. In that sense, I am glad to see the Samuel hold-out being stonewalled. Although it all must adjust North to account for new cap space, the Pats roster was beginning to feature a lot of 6M+ guys. Little did I understand... that's starting to be middle-class. To see that we're still holding the line, between the receiver signing spree and not caving on the Asante deal, restores my faith in the FO.

    Interesting days indeed.

    PFnV
     
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