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Patriots, Samuel miss deadline on agreement

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (July 16, 2007) -- Cornerback Asante Samuel and the New England Patriots failed to agree on a multiyear contract, setting the stage for a possible holdout.

Samuel, coming off the best of his four seasons, can play only for the 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, 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 4 p.m. ET today. 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 -- they would not have been compensated had he signed elsewhere.

Samuel, 26, tied Champ Bailey of Denver for the NFL regular-season lead with 10 interceptions last season. Samuel also has three interception returns for touchdowns in the playoffs, tying him with former Oakland Raider Willie Brown for the NFL record.

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

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2007, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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