- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 5, 2007

He came up empty on trading for Dre Bly. He came up empty — as of now — on trading for Lance Briggs. But don’t expect Redskins owner Dan Snyder to stop his pursuit of making a big move before this month’s NFL Draft.

The latest possible target: New England cornerback Asante Samuel.

Samuel, who had 12 interceptions last season, is like Briggs in that he is young (26) and disgruntled (wants a long-term deal). Like Briggs, Samuels has been named his team’s franchise player.

In his first public comments since being taken off the market, Samuel told the NFL Network: “This is to let everybody know that I’m not happy anymore and things are not going well. At first I thought it was going well, but it’s not.

“We have a difference of opinion in my value. They think I’m worth one price and the other teams think I’m worth a lot more. If a long-term deal can’t be done at fair numbers for me and New England, then I want to be traded.”

Samuel also claimed he is prepared to sit out all or a portion of the season.

“If it’s best for me and my family,” he said, “I will do that. Absolutely.”

Signing Samuel to an offer sheet would cost any team two first-round draft picks if New England doesn’t match. The Pats already have two first-round picks this year — their own and Seattle’s, acquired in the Deion Branch deal.

Enter the Redskins.

If the Patriots take their call, the Redskins could offer an intriguing package for Samuel. Any discussion would have to start with Shawn Springs, the sixth overall pick and likely a mid-round pick. And then the Redskins could give Samuel a giant contract that

would further complicate the Redskins’ salary cap issues.

The franchise salary for a cornerback in 2007 is $7.79 million. It will be interesting to see what the Patriots do. They played hard-ball with Branch last year and when he refused to report to training camp, he was traded to Seattle. But elite cornerbacks are harder to replace than good receivers.

My guess is that this was just a frustrated player popping off. He later said in the NFL Network story, “We want to get something done and my hope is we will.” Although the Redskins will kick the tires, I don’t think New England will trade Samuel.

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