The signing of Asante Samuel was expected as early as Monday when the fifth-year pro arrived in Foxboro, but didn't occur until Tuesday. Samuel now has guaranteed himself a base salary of $7.79 million - the cost of the Franchise tag tender in 2007 for cornerbacks. In addition, Samuel also reportedly received a reprieve from receiving the Franchise Tag in 2008 if he participates in 75 percent of the defensive snaps this year.
For Samuel, the ability to get out of the Franchise tag in 2008 represents a significant victory. Samuel's only other option would be to hold out until week 10 of the season to force the team to move from it's original position of not relinquishing the right to franchise the veteran defender.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was glad to have the team leader in interceptions last year back in camp.
"I'm glad he's here," Belichick said in his press conference. "I'm glad that we got things worked out. I'm looking forward to working with him."
|Asante Samuel at New England Patriots training camp August 2006 (Photo Kevin Saleeba / PatriotsInsiders.com)|
Belichick knows that having Samuel back in camp dramatically improves the talent in the team's secondary.
"We drafted him four years ago and this will be his fifth year. He's been a very productive player for us."
Samuel was also pleased that both sides reached an agreement.
"I'm here," Samuel said yesterday. "Both sides made an agreement and both sides are happy. So if I'm here, I'm obviously happy."
Staying away until week 10 was an option for Samuel, but the lure of being back with the team for the start of the season - one that the team is the Super Bowl Favorite - was a big factor in his decision.
"I love my team. It's always been a great organization. It's always had great fans, great players, great coaches. We've been doing well since I've been here so I'm glad to be here and Id love to be here for the rest of my career.
The Patriots have been granted a roster exemption until September 10th for Samuel. The exemption allows the team to keep one extra player on the roster through both rounds of cut downs. The final roster cuts to the 53-player limit are due on Saturday.
The New England Patriots released rookie offensive lineman Chris Patrick Tuesday. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Nebraska product was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New York Giants. The Patriots claimed Patrick off waivers on August 16, 2007 after New York waived him.
Patrick participated in the 2007 NFL Supplemental Draft, but was not selected.
Brown, Jackson and Jackson to PUP
All three players will miss the first six weeks of the season. They are then free to begin practicing with the team within a limited window. Once a PUP player begins practicing, the team has another limited window to either activate him or place him on the reserve/injured list thereby ending his season.
Richardson to IR
|Mike Richardson watches practice at New England Patriots training camp August 2007 (Photo by Kevin Saleeba / PatriotsInsiders.com)|
CB Mike Richardson was placed on the reserve/injured list Tuesday August 28, 2007 with a hand/wrist injury. The move ends the Notre Dame product's promising rookie season as Richardson will have to sit out the entire year.
Richardson had become more involved in the Patriots' lineup, playing with the first team defense for much of the game against the Carolina Panthers last Friday. His development at corner was impressive enough to move him ahead of fellow rookie Brandon Meriweather at the nickel position.
Hot Topic: Which Receiver will get cut?