New England Patriots  

 

CB Samuel stays out of camp in contract dispute

  • By Howard Ulman Associated Press
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -Randy Moss was a popular attraction for the huge crowd of screaming fans who showed up to watch the New England Patriots' first practice of training camp Friday.

But they didn't see Asante Samuel or Brandon Meriweather, two defensive backs involved in contract disputes.

Samuel is holding out after being offered $7.79 million as a franchise player but not the long-term contract he wanted. Meriweather, the Patriots' first-round pick out of Miami, is their only unsigned draft choice.

"Hopefully, those will be resolved," coach Bill Belichick said.

Donte' Stallworth, one of several new wide receivers acquired in the offseason, did not practice, and Belichick indicated his absence was related to a physical issue.

"Some guys we hold out (of practice) for one reason or another," Belichick said.

Moss was not one of them. He participated throughout the practice, catching passes from quarterback Tom Brady. He waved to fans when he went on the field, then signed autographs for about five minutes after the session.

"I just see the excitement. That's really what makes me happy," Moss said. "I'm glad to be here. I'm happy to get a start at something that I'm hoping will pay off at the end of the year."

The Patriots obtained Moss from Oakland on April 28, the first day of the draft. During his two seasons with the Raiders he said he would be better off with another team.

During his seven seasons with Minnesota, he was fined $10,000 for pretending to pull down his pants and moon the Green Bay crowd during a Vikings playoff win and drew criticism for leaving the field with 2 seconds left in a loss to Washington.

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