Samuel says he's Hall-worthy

Samuel says he's Hall-worthy

By Tom E. Curran

Asante Samuel belongs in the Hall of Fame like I deserve a Pulitzer.

What brought that on? This:"No one that's come into the league with me or before me that's played my position, or even, I'm going to say, any defensive back should be going to the Hall of Fame before me. That's just what it is. Nobody should make it before me."

That gem, uttered by the erstwhile Patriots corner, hit the ears of Paul Domowitch when Domo was down in Atlanta this month.

As the Hall of Fame presenter for the Philadelphia market, Domowitch has been having his posterior smooched by Samuel for years. So when the writer went to visit Samuel - who was traded to the Falcons for a seventh-round pick - Samuel saw an opportune time to lobby for his Hall-worthiness.

Hence, the delusional quote found above.

Asante Samuel has been a good pro since 2003 when he was a fourth-round pick out of Central Florida. Some years, he's been excellent. His ability to intercept passes is his forte. Great ball skills, great anticipation, terrific quickness. As an overall defender - coverage, tackling, playing within the scheme and making the entire defense better - he's a B player. Hall of Famers are A players.

Charles Woodson, a Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, and a seven-time All-Pro is the first guy I think of when Samuel says nobody should get inducted over him.

Then I think of Champ Bailey. Then Ty Law. And Darrelle Revis might be a post-Samuel corner who needs consideration.

Samuel's picked off 45 passes. He's returned five for touchdowns in the regular season and returned another four for scores in the postseason. Good stuff.

But when Asante Samuel truly had a chance to set himself apart and make some history Hall of Fame voters would remember when they do their deliberations, he would have done well to have caught the most important pass that ever came his way.

During the New York Giants' final drive in Super Bowl XLVII, Eli Manning threw high toward the right sideline and Samuel mis-timed his jump. The ball hit his hands and then the ground and - as it turned out, - that was the last, best chance the Patriots had to preserve the only 19-game perfect season.

Sooooo, that kinda leaves a mark. You gotta love Samuel for conning himself into believing he's one of the best ever. You also have to wonder where he gets his version of reality.

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

With free agency just around the corner, the Bruins have officially cut ties with former first-round pick and last bastion of the Tyler Seguin trade, Joe Morrow.

The 24-year-old Edmonton native arrived in Boston along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser in exchange for Seguin when he was shipped to Dallas, and now all of those players have moved on from Boston as well. Boston does still carry Jimmy Hayes on their roster, a player traded from Florida in exchange for Smith, as a last remnant of the Seguin deal, but it isn't expected to be too long before Hayes moves on from Boston as well.  

The B’s announced on Monday afternoon that they hadn’t extended a qualifying offer to Morrow, as well as P-Bruins power forward Colton Hargrove, as a restricted free agent, and that both B’s youngsters were now free to sign with any of the 30 NHL teams as free agents.

The Bruins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents in Noel Acciari, Linus Arnesson, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner and Malcolm Subban, and will retain the associated team rights with all of those players. Negotiations are ongoing between the Bruins and Pastrnak continue over a long term deal that would put him in the same $6 million plus per season level as teammate Brad Marchand, but one source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated it’s “not close” to being a done deal.

Some RFA’s like Spooner and Subban might not necessarily fit into the long term plan for the Black and Gold, but they need to maintain their rights if they hope to trade them as valued assets down the line.

Morrow never put together the talent that made him a former first-round pick while he was in Boston, and totaled just one assist in 17 games for the B’s before playing well in five playoff games after getting pushed into duty due to injuries. In all Morrow finished with two goals and nine points along with a minus-8 rating in 65 games over three seasons in Boston, but could never string together an extended run of consistent play at the NHL level.

With the Bruins in the market to bring on another left-shot defenseman into the Boston fold this summer, it was pretty clear that the time had come to move on from Morrow while allowing him to potentially develop as an NHL D-man elsewhere. 

Tom Brady claims No. 1 spot on NFL's top 100 list

Tom Brady claims No. 1 spot on NFL's top 100 list

The NFL Network revealed the final 10 players on its annual Top 100 list Monday night and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finished in the No. 1 spot.

On NFL.com, the Top 100 list is described as the answer to the question, "Who are the top 100 players in the NFL today?" If that's the criteria -- and not simply performance in 2016 -- then Watt's complaint actually doesn't hold much water. If he's healthy, no one would argue that he's one of the best 35 players "in the NFL today."

Several Patriots players made the cut on this year's list: Rob Gronkowski (No. 23), LeGarrette Blount (No. 80), Julian Edelman (No. 71), Dont'a Hightower (No. 94) and Malcolm Butler (No. 99). 

Brady was also voted in as the No. 1 player back in 2011.