I really don't consider this news, but seeing as how I have found so little worthwhile info on the Bears today, this gets the call. Some are speculating that the contract that Bears corner Nathan Vashar signed is hurting the chances of Patriots franchise player and hold out, Asante Samuel to get the money he is asking.
Samueal rocketed to fame this year by leading the league in interceptions and having 3 INTs for TDs in the last 2 play offs. He is looking for money that is similar to what now overpaid Nate Clements is receiving. His contract is for eight years, $80 million; $22.1 million in bonuses and guarantees. Vashar's new contract is more in line with other recent corners who have signed such as Dre Bly who signed with the Broncos for five years, $33 million; $18 million in bonus money, $16 million of which is guaranteed.
The interesting part is when the comparison of Samuel and Vashar happens.
Vasher, 25, and Samuel, 26, have followed similar career paths. Both were fourth-round picks -- Vasher No. 110 overall in 2004 and Samuel No. 120 overall in 2003 -- who have outperformed their initial contracts. Both have started in Super Bowls -- Samuel in New England's 24-21 victory over the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX and Vasher in Chicago's 29-17 loss to the Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
Vasher has 16 career interceptions in the regular season, the same as Samuel, who has played one more season.
They each have returned two regular-season interceptions for touchdowns.
Samuel has never been selected for the Pro Bowl. He didn't go last season despite tying Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey for the league lead in interceptions with 10. Vasher made the Pro Bowl in 2005 after recording a career-high eight INTs, which tied him for fourth in the NFL that season. Vasher intercepted three passes last season.
Where Samuel separates himself is in the postseason. Vasher has one interception in four postseason contests. Samuel has three in 11 games, all in the last two seasons. He has returned all three for touchdowns, including two during the Patriots' most recent playoff run.
Firstly, I don't care what Samuel thinks he is worth or is really worth, but looking at those numbers it does make a case for the Patriots. They use Samuel's post season numbers as the separating, but 1 in 4 and 3 in 11 are practically the same thing, Samuel has just had more opportunities to play.
The fact is that San Francisco overpaid Clements. Now they might not consider it overpaying since they obviously wanted the guy and he was going to receive plenty of offers, so they just blew them all out of the water, but the number he received are not realistic. For every guy who had a big year in his contract year to think they can get that type of money is insane.