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Samuel will sign $7.79 million contract as franchise player


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Franchise cornerback Asante Samuel, who has missed all of training camp and the first three preaeason games, reported to the New England Patriots on Monday and will sign the one-year tender worth $7.79 million.

The four-year veteran could practice with the team as early as Monday. He will attempt to reclaim his starting job, but likely will have to pass the strenuous conditioning test that is administered by coach Bill Belichick to all players before working out with his teammates.

The Providence Journal reported Monday that Samuel flew to the Boston area Sunday night after having spent most of the offseason in Florida.

It is not certain what Samuel accomplished with his absence from camp. Unless the Pats agreed to stipulate that they will not use the franchise marker on him again next spring, as the Chicago Bears did with franchise linebacker Lance Briggs, the cornerback will not have made a significant statement by staying away.

New England, it is believed, is opposed to forfeiting its right to use the franchise tag on Samuel again in 2008.

The emphasis for now will likely focus on getting Samuel ready for the start of the regular season. New England opens the year at the New York Jets on Sept. 9.

The NFL Network reported last Thursday evening that Samuel was expected to sign the one-year tender for a franchise-designated cornerback, set at $7.79 million, and to report to the Patriots sometime before the team's final preseason game. The consensus around the league has been that Samuel, who earned only minimum base salaries the first three years of his NFL career, would find it difficult to ignore a one-year deal for nearly $8 million.

Earlier in the spring, Samuel suggested he would hold out for the first 10 weeks of the year before reporting and earning an accrued season that might make him eligible for unrestricted free agency next spring if the Patriots opted not to use the franchise marker again.

Samuel, 26, is the last of the league's seven franchise players this year who has yet to come to a contract agreement.

Three of the players -- Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney (six years, $72 million), New Orleans defensive end Charles Grant (seven years, $63 million) and Detroit defensive tackle Cory Redding (seven years, $49 million) -- signed long-term contracts. In addition to Briggs, Cincinnati defensive end Justin Smith ($8.64 million) and Seattle kicker Josh Brown ($2.078 million) signed their one-year tenders. Neither Brown nor Smith elicited from his team a stipulation precluding use of the franchise tag again in 2008.

A fourth-round pick in the 2003 draft, Samuel has appeared in 59 games and started in 39 of them, including 15 starts in each of the past two seasons. The former Central Florida star has 188 tackles, 16 interceptions, 43 passes defensed and three forced fumbles.

He emerged as one of the NFL's top cornerbacks in 2006 but still is not viewed in the same class as some of the highest-paid coverage defenders in the league.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer at ESPN.com.

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Franchise cornerback Asante Samuel, who has missed all of training camp and the first three preaeason games, reported to the New England Patriots on Monday and will sign the one-year tender worth $7.79 million.

The four-year veteran could practice with the team as early as Monday. He will attempt to reclaim his starting job, but likely will have to pass the strenuous conditioning test that is administered by coach Bill Belichick to all players before working out with his teammates.

The Providence Journal reported Monday that Samuel flew to the Boston area Sunday night after having spent most of the offseason in Florida.

It is not certain what Samuel accomplished with his absence from camp. Unless the Pats agreed to stipulate that they will not use the franchise marker on him again next spring, as the Chicago Bears did with franchise linebacker Lance Briggs, the cornerback will not have made a significant statement by staying away.

New England, it is believed, is opposed to forfeiting its right to use the franchise tag on Samuel again in 2008.

The emphasis for now will likely focus on getting Samuel ready for the start of the regular season. New England opens the year at the New York Jets on Sept. 9.

The NFL Network reported last Thursday evening that Samuel was expected to sign the one-year tender for a franchise-designated cornerback, set at $7.79 million, and to report to the Patriots sometime before the team's final preseason game. The consensus around the league has been that Samuel, who earned only minimum base salaries the first three years of his NFL career, would find it difficult to ignore a one-year deal for nearly $8 million.

Earlier in the spring, Samuel suggested he would hold out for the first 10 weeks of the year before reporting and earning an accrued season that might make him eligible for unrestricted free agency next spring if the Patriots opted not to use the franchise marker again.

Samuel, 26, is the last of the league's seven franchise players this year who has yet to come to a contract agreement.

Three of the players -- Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney (six years, $72 million), New Orleans defensive end Charles Grant (seven years, $63 million) and Detroit defensive tackle Cory Redding (seven years, $49 million) -- signed long-term contracts. In addition to Briggs, Cincinnati defensive end Justin Smith ($8.64 million) and Seattle kicker Josh Brown ($2.078 million) signed their one-year tenders. Neither Brown nor Smith elicited from his team a stipulation precluding use of the franchise tag again in 2008.

A fourth-round pick in the 2003 draft, Samuel has appeared in 59 games and started in 39 of them, including 15 starts in each of the past two seasons. The former Central Florida star has 188 tackles, 16 interceptions, 43 passes defensed and three forced fumbles.

He emerged as one of the NFL's top cornerbacks in 2006 but still is not viewed in the same class as some of the highest-paid coverage defenders in the league.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer at ESPN.com.

Damn...

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how the hell is he supposed to survive on that pittance?

A Mil doesnt buy what it used to.

Taxes kill these guys. Missouri taxes NFL player for income earned in their state. I cant imagine NY being different. Everyone has their hand out.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Retirementandwills/Escapetheratrace/P100986.asp

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A Mil doesnt buy what it used to.

Taxes kill these guys. Missouri taxes NFL player for income earned in their state. I cant imagine NY being different. Everyone has their hand out.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Retirementandwills/Escapetheratrace/P100986.asp

WAIT!

You mean to tell me they make them pay a state income tax???? Just like me???

CRAZY!@

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