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CB Samuel absent as Patriots open camp

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- 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

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.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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