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.

Some clarification on why Bruins may opt for ATO with Charlie McAvoy rather than playing him in the NHL

Some clarification on why Bruins may opt for ATO with Charlie McAvoy rather than playing him in the NHL

The second BU’s season ended, Bruins fans were champing (it’s champing, not chomping; look it up) to get sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy to the NHL. 

So when word emerged from Bob McKenzie that it’s looking like McAvoy will join Providence on an amateur tryout, eyes rolled. Why not sign McAvoy to his three-year entry level contract, have him stay in Boston and get some NHL experience. After all, we hear over and over that as long as you don’t play 10 NHL games, a year doesn’t get burned. 

The answer is because that 10-game thing doesn’t apply to everyone. It applies when talking about teenagers who are coming from the CHL, which is when the issue most commonly pops up, a la Tyler Seguin in 2010-11. 

Yet much like it didn’t apply to Torey Krug when he signed with the Bruins in 2012, it doesn’t apply to McAvoy now. The reason some kids can play nine games and then go away without a year being burned is because their contract slides. Players who are 18 or 19 years old as of Sept. 15 of their signing year see their deal moved back a year as long as they don’t play 10 NHL games, including the playoffs. 

For players who are 19 as of Sept. 15 of the year they sign (not season) and turn 20 between Sept. 16 and Dec. 31, their contract does not slide. This is all explained neatly here. 

If you’ve fallen asleep by this point, wake up right quick. McAvoy is 19 and will turn 20 on Dec. 21. That means that if McAvoy and signs and plays an NHL game this season, one year will be burned off his entry-level deal, making him up for a new deal after the 2018-19 season rather than the 2019-20 season. Same goes for Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, who already is 20. 

The Bruins actually used this drawback to their advantage when they signed Krug. The B’s let the 20-year-old Krug play in an NHL game after he signed, which got him to restricted free agency a year earlier. The promise to play him and burn that year was likely a reason Krug chose to sign with the B’s as an undrafted free agent. 

So for now, yes, an ATO is the safe play for the Bruins if they want to maximize the value of McAvoy’s entry level deal. His NHL career might have to wait until the fall. 
 

Felger: 'The Oakland Raiders are garbage, and they always have been'

Felger: 'The Oakland Raiders are garbage, and they always have been'

Want a classic Felger rant? Or forget Felger; a classic rant, period?

Watch the video above as Michael Felger eviscerates the Oakland Raiders.

"You know what the Oakland Raiders are? And their fans, and their city? A bunch of dirtbags," Felger said Tuesday on Felger & Mazz. "If that's not the most overrated team and organization in the history of sports, I don't know what is . . . That is a garbage organization and it has always has been.

"And the way people are treating them now, like . . . the Green Bay Packers or the Boston Celtics or the Montreal Canadiens or the New York Yankees are moving, is laughable. Laughable! The Oakland Raiders are garbage. And they always have been."

There's more . . . ,much more. Watch the video to hear the full treatment.