According to a report on Boston.com, the 4 p.m. deadline for the Patriots to sign franchised cornerbackAsante Samuel to a long-term deal came and went without a deal being struck.
As a result, Samuel can either sign the one-year extension that carries a $7.79 million salary, choose to hold out or hope the team trades him elsewhere in order for him to get his long-term deal. In the past Samuel has indicated a willingness to hold out. If he does, he could sit out as much as the first 10 weeks before returning and still earn a year of service time that would allow him to become a free agent once again in 2008.
The Boston.com report cites a source directly involved in the negotiations as saying the gap between the sides was "significant." Samuel's camp, led by agent Alonzo Shavers, was looking for a deal that would guarantee him roughly $30 million over the first three years of the deal. The report indicated the Patriots were willing to give him about $6 million per season with approximately $13 million in bonuses.