Pats, Samuel don’t reach contract agreement

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Cornerback Asante Samuel and the New England Patriots failed to agree on a multiyear contract Monday, setting the stage for a possible holdout.

Samuel, coming off the best of his four seasons, can only play for the $7.79 million tender offer the Patriots made when they designated him as their franchise player. He skipped the team’s mandatory minicamp last month and has said he intends to hold out until the 10th week of the regular season.

The club made no transactions on Monday, team spokesman Stacey James said. Samuel’s agent, Alonzo Shavers, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

The deadline for franchise players to reach a multiyear contract was Monday at 4 p.m. EDT. Now the two sides are not allowed to agree to one until after the season. Had the Patriots not placed the franchise tag on him, Samuel could have become an unrestricted free agent and they would not be compensated if he signed elsewhere.

Samuel, 26, tied Champ Bailey of Denver for the NFL regular-season lead with 10 interceptions last season.

The Patriots drafted Samuel in the fourth round out of Central Florida in 2003.


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