Don Banks filed a report from Patriots training camp, including this bit about the Asante Samuel holdout:
We’re probably in the face-saving stage of the stand-off, and you can tell that by the noticeably softer tone coming from Samuel’s agents in recent days. Samuel needlessly took a hard-line stance early on in negotiations, threatening to hold out for the season’s first 10 weeks unless he received a new long-term deal. That’s not going to happen, because Samuel isn’t going to walk away from any of the regular-season game checks that come with his $7.79 million franchise tender.
Now it’s probably just a matter of Samuel staying away from camp long enough so that it doesn’t look like he quickly caved in to the Patriots after talking so tough all offseason. Just after New England plays its second preseason game is a reasonable date to expect him.
I was never clear on how this “sit out the first ten games” threat would work out in practice anyway. Would Samuel really expect the team to welcome him back after skipping more than two months of the season in a contract dispute? Wouldn’t the Patriots Keyshawn him at that point?
It sounds like we won’t find out how this would’ve gone because it won’t be happening. That’s comforting to hear in light of the news that Chad Scott, who would’ve been Samuel’s likely replacement at cornerback, was carted off the practice field with a knee injury on Friday.