October 1, 2016

Game On

by Scott Benson
[email protected]

The first blow of free agency has been struck, and has been the trend since February 1, the Patriots have taken another one on the chin.

PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM

At this writing, reports that Asante Samuel has signed a first day deal with the Eagles have begun to trickle in. 

The Pro Bowl cornerback has apparently reached a six-year agreement with Philadelphia, though financial considerations have yet to be determined. Early rumors say that the former 4th round pick will average somewhere around $9.5 million a season for the Eagles, with as much as $20 million of the deal guaranteed. 

Given Samuel’s age and the position he plays, this is probably the biggest free agent loss of the Belichick era. Samuel logged significant minutes for the three-time champs from the beginning of his career, and by his fourth season, he had ascended to become one of the better playmaking cornerbacks in the league. Most memorable was his interception return for a touchdown against Peyton Manning in the 2006 AFC Championship, though Pats fans will now likely choose to remember his near-but-not-near-enough interception muff against another Manning in the Patriots’ shocking Super Bowl loss to the Giants just a few weeks ago.

Simply said, I feel bad. This is one of the hardest things about being a sports fan in this player/transient day and age, though we can’t begrudge Samuel for exploiting his CBA-given right to free and open bidding for his services. They same system worked for the Patriots last year, as talented players like Randy Moss and Wes Welker joined the Pats (albeit by trade, but you know that I mean) and helped them to one of the most historic, and controversial, seasons in league history. This time, the Lord has taketh away.

Samuel was a diligent worker and a solid citizen who played hard every week, and over time, developed skills that have now resulted in multi-lifetime security for himself and his family. He owes the Patriots and their fans nothing, aside from a warm handhake and a thanks for the chance. By the same token, we owe him – at the least – a nod of gratitude for meritorious service to the cause.

NO MOSS GATHERED

Drama queen Mike Florio and his little rat-faced three-name lackey Michael David Smith have barely concealed their glee – in between Sprint ads disguised as ‘posts’ to their rumor site – that the Patriots have yet to sign Randy Moss to the new contract that was expected to be executed sometime after midnight last night. Have I mentioned how much I think Florio has screwed up a good thing with Pro Football Talk?

Anyway, Moss talk at this point is nothing more than rank speculation, and I’ll take a pass on that, thanks. Who knows what the deal is, or isn’t? Nobody, I think, other than Moss himself. Pats fans who have worked themselves into a lather because the record-breaker has gone a whole 18 hours without re-upping probably need to get some fresh air or something.

Of course, I may have a dog in this hunt, secretly. I’ll probably get flamed like Jim Carrey’s Fireman Bill for even breathing a word of this, but I guess I wouldn’t be bothered too much if Moss pulled a swerve on the Pats and signed a mega-deal with someone else. Let’s just say that things got a little too “just ****ing sling it” for my tastes last season. Those September-October jump balls tend to peter out when the leaves fall, and when the winter winds start to whip, the high-flying Sling It Kids just end up with getting rolled for their lunch money, left in a heap with a bunch of sparkling 19-0 t-shirts they can’t use.

Of course, if he re-signs, it’ll be the greatest thing that ever happened.

FREE AGENT EMMANUEL LEWIS TO VISIT PATS NEXT WEEK

No, I guess the diminutive former star of TV’s Webster is still locked into his rookie deal or something, because its actually cornerback Jason Webster who will be stopping by Route 1 on Monday. Being perfectly honest here, it took me a good long time to even remember who Jason Webster, the former Bill, Falcon and 49’er, is. I have an exuse, though – he’s played only nine games over the last two years, none against the Pats. The 30 year old is said to be best suited for zone coverage. Oh, great – more 19 yard cushions. You can’t dog the Pats on this, though – they’ve lost Samuel, Eugene Wilson, and quite possibly Randall Gay (set for visits across the country apparently) over the last week. At the very least, Webster would provide experienced depth and competition as things get underway in the late summer. 

STAY TUNED

I’ll be back periodically as developments warrant. I hope you’ll do the same.

Comments

  1. Hwy Scott I’d love to hear what you say about Florio and PFT. I just sent him an e-mail the other day to point out his story on K. Faulk was incorrect because Faulk was NOT arrested. I also pointed out that since his “Turd” rules only speak of arrests that the 3 points he accredited to the Pats was incorrect. I also noted that at some point along the way recently he seems to have lost his way. I’ve been a reader of his for a few years now but lately it’s not the same and he seems to have lost his objectivity or something but I couldn’t put my finger quite on it besides what seems to me like an obvious bent towards the Pats. Anyway I’d very much like to hear your input.

    Thanks and LOVE the site!!
    Dave

  2. Hey Dave:

    First, the truth is over the past few years I have visited PFT daily, and will continue to. It’s one of the first bookmarks I hit when I open my browser. I find it one of the best places to see all of the league stories & rumors in one place at one time, and quickly, with updates through the day. It’s really invaluable in that sense.

    I also know that he gets something like a half-million hits (or more) a day at times like these. Just as a point of reference, that’s about three times more visitors than we’ve had since we started last July. Not comparing us to him in any way obviously; just saying you have to respect the way he’s built that site into something that big.

    All that said, its becoming the site I love to hate, I guess. It’s obviously become big business for the guy, with the sponsorships he’s carrying and the SN columns and the videos and all that. The Vick thing brought him all kinds of attention and he’s clearly been all about exploiting that ever since. Which is okay, but let’s just acknowledge that. From the start he was up on his soapbox on that, rightfully, and his law background seemed to give him a certain gravitas/credibility that he didn’t have before. But he WAS soapboxing more than ever before, and its pretty clear to me that he’s continued down that path with the idea that the soapboxing and wild speculation is going to continue to reap him rewards. He’s probably right, but I think that’s why 85% of his posts nowadays are him taking an innocuous blurb and spinning it into a wild ‘rumor’, or why he so often conveniently overlooks certain facts in other cases if they’re going to interfere with his particular theory.

    I also think the over-focus on sports law can be extremely tedious, but that’s probably just taste.

    Speaking of taste, I think that’s what happened. He got a taste of the big-time with the Vick stuff, and now its all about getting more, and the way he does it is by ramping up the hysteria every chance he gets. His position on the Patriots is a great example. He knows he’s written nothing but crap on it, but it doesn’t matter, because the clicks justify it. He pandered to the Pats haters because there was more money in it.

    It’s not about the rumors anymore, it’s about what he thinks about the rumors. That’s the big difference.

    I have to add that the little three-name rat-faced weasel is just deplorable. He crawls on his belly like a reptile. This is just some bottom-feeding rat looking to make a dent somewhere, without any particular talent other than his sliminess. I can understand why Florio uses him, as you can’t run a site like that without help. But your wallet isn’t safe around either one of them.

  3. Jackson says:

    My reaction to PFT is analogous to driving by in the aftermath of a bad accident – I know I shouldn’t look, but I can’t help myself. I go there several times a day with hope that I’ll get some good news (for a change, knowing full well that what I’ll get will be more bad news. And lately, that’s all there seems to be…

  4. Hey thanks for the time to reply Scott. That very succinctly summed up kind of what I had been feeling but couldn’t quite put mu finger on just like Bruce did so eloquently with his “The Most Miserable 18-1 Season in History” article a few weeks ago. My main complaint was it used to be beautiful to go to his site because it was rumor then opinion. Quick and easy and straight to the point. I told him these days I can’t tell the difference because he seems to have interjected himself into everything. I totally see it’s that and his over sensationalism as well. I too will still go to his site several times a day for the news and tid bits but I do treat it like Jackson commented. I wince every time I click like I do when I drive by the scene of the accident. Oh and just know for every click Florio gets you guys get one from me as well! Thanks again!

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