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jrocx69 03-01-2005 08:43 PM

Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
ASHBURN, Va. -- This year's big signing for the Washington Redskins at the start of free agency is one of their own: tackle Chris Samuels, who received the largest signing bonus in team history.
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Samuels and the team reached agreement Tuesday night for a multiyear deal that includes a signing bonus of $15.75 million, according to an official in the league who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Further details were not immediately available, but the deal solves a pressing need just before the start of free agency at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Samuels' contract was scheduled to count a whopping $9.5 million against the salary cap this year, constraining the team's ability to re-sign players and acquire new ones.

Samuels' bonus exceeds the club-record $15.5 million linebacker LaVar Arrington received in his nine-year, $68 million contract signed in December 2003.

The No. 3 overall pick in the 2000 draft, Samuels rebounded with a solid season last year after a tentative 2003 in which he was hobbled with a knee injury. He made the Pro Bowl in 2001 and 2002.

Samuels' signing reflects a different attitude for the Redskins entering free agency than in past years, when owner Dan Snyder was jetting parades of players across the country to make big-splash signings. This year, the team is focused more on re-signing its own players while dealing with disenchantment from a couple of others.

The top free agent priorities are receiver and center, with Baltimore center Casey Rabach expected to be the only courted visitor at Redskins Park on Wednesday. The shorter shopping list that gives Coach Joe Gibbs time to deal with a series of unresolved developments.

Receiver Laveranues Coles wants to leave, but his contract demands are a stumbling block to a trade and the Redskins don't want to cut him. Receiver Rod Gardner also wants out, and he's been given permission to seek a trade. Middle linebacker Antonio Pierce and cornerback Fred Smoot are "real Redskins" that Gibbs wants as part of his core group, but both want to test the open market before re-signing.

Now comes free agency, when the Redskins usually steal the show. Marcus Washington, Shawn Springs, Cornelius Griffin and Phillip Daniels were signed quickly last year, while trades were completed for Mark Brunell and Clinton Portis in a pace so furious that multiple pilots were needed to fly Snyder's hired jet.

This year, the top need is a receiver to replace Gardner -- perhaps Cincinnati's T.J. Houshmandzadeh -- and a center to upgrade a position held by Cory Raymer and Lennie Friedman last season. A second receiver could be needed, depending on the resolution of Coles' situation. Cornerback becomes a major priority if Smoot doesn't re-sign, although reports touting an interest in Samari Rolle, recently released by Tennessee, were premature at best.

Smoot has said he wants to return, but he balked at the Redskins' offer of a $10.3 million signing bonus -- even though it would top the $10.25 million Springs received last year. Pierce, who emerged from obscurity to become one of the leaders of the third-ranked defense in the league, wants to wade into the free agent waters but has said he will give the Redskins a chance to counter any offer he gets.

"Hopefully we can get all those guys taken care of," Gibbs said. "The only time I think we'll lose somebody is if it's totally unworkable. Everybody knows who we value as real Redskins."

Coles probably no longer counts as a "real Redskin" after expressing his desire to leave because his frustration over Gibbs' conservative offense. However, the Redskins don't want to release a player who caught 90 passes last year and get nothing in return - especially since cutting him would cause his contract to count $9.3 million against the salary cap this year.

The Redskins would be amenable to a trade -- Coles for Santana Moss in a swap with the New York Jets is a possibility -- but the Jets and other teams aren't enthusiastic about Coles' desire for a new contract if he switches teams. Complicating matters is a $5 million bonus due to Coles on April 1, which could be paid by either the Redskins or a new team.

"Laveranues Coles is a very valuable guy," Gibbs said. "If we can work something out with somebody, that would be fine."
The Associated Press News Service

SKINSnCANES 03-01-2005 08:45 PM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
Hmm, thats what I expected of the bonus. I am very surprised that it says that Rabach is the only player expectd to visit with us tonight...

I guess the others wont be visiting, just receiving phone calls ;)

That or we are acutally going to sign out own and only make a key acquisition or two, and for a good price not overpaying on the first night just to get them here. What a weird idea

Daseal 03-01-2005 09:14 PM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
Snyder while looking at recent gas bills realized it was cheaper to drive his maybach to Baltimore than gas up the jet!

Schneed10 03-01-2005 09:15 PM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
Amen. Let's keep our own, and just fill in the gaps.

This is a ton of money for Chris Samuels in my opinion. He hasn't earned this much. Walter Jones got $16 million in bonuses, and he's been to 4 pro bowls. That said, I'm glad we're keeping Samuels, I like him, and I hope he kicks ass.


GoSkins! 03-01-2005 09:30 PM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
Samuels played very solid last year. He rarely needed any help in pass defense which allowed Gibbs to shore up the right side with a TE. Now Jansen will be back and it sounds like we have a new center. To me, it sounds like we now have a hell of line.
Next, grab a nasty run blocking TE (not expensive) and start looking at our receivers.
Resign Smoot and Pierce, deal with Coles, and we will be set (before we even get to the draft)!!!!

That Guy 03-01-2005 09:44 PM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
samuels yearly contract is going to be lower than jones i believe, restructed contracts have to make up lost yearly wages as part of the new signing bonus...

getting rabach would be great, then we'd only need 2 positions in the draft... and right now it looks like we could afford one of the two big WRs on the market or at least a secondary one...

didnt the jets release a really good blocking TE or something? thats a minor need that'd actually be pretty nice to fill... anything to get portis into open field....

jdlea 03-01-2005 10:34 PM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
That just means they're going to make him restructure again in the near future. Just like they did Stephen Davis.

BigSKINBauer 03-01-2005 10:40 PM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
look at espn projections for Free agents, smoot is not even projected here and the only place rolle is projected is washington! most people were projected to like 3-4 places but not rolle, only us! like pierce is projected to Minnesota, Washington, Kansas City, N.Y. Giants. and smoot is Dallas, Seattle, N.Y. Giants. YES DALLAS!!!!! WTF ahhhhhh we play all these teams and i think seattle is at home so he will be in fedex field one way or another in burgondy and gold or in some ugly shade of blue!

Sheriff Gonna Getcha 03-01-2005 10:49 PM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
We'll be fine. Our personnel decisions are the least of my concern right now. I'm far more concerned about our offensive scheme.

Does the following lineup sound bad?
WR-Coles, Williamson/Williams
Line-Samuels, Dockery, Rabach, Thomas, Jansen
TE-Kyle Brady

I think that offensive lineup sounds pretty damn good.

That Guy 03-01-2005 11:23 PM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
it'd be an upgrade for sure... dockery would be the weakest link then, and the only potentially replaceable player...

CrazyCanuck 03-01-2005 11:26 PM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
[QUOTE=Schneed10]This is a ton of money for Chris Samuels in my opinion. He hasn't earned this much. Walter Jones got $16 million in bonuses, and he's been to 4 pro bowls. That said, I'm glad we're keeping Samuels, I like him, and I hope he kicks ass.[/QUOTE]

Agreed. Jansen and Thomas each got $7M signing bonuses AND they were willing to restructure on their own. Now they give Samuels almost $16M??? Don't tell Jon and Randy but this is a little insulting IMO. I expect them to take it like men, but Samuels better come to play.

CrazyCanuck 03-01-2005 11:29 PM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
...but at least we're overpaying for our own players for once.

Redskins8588 03-02-2005 12:47 AM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
how much under the cap are we now that Samuels restructured?

BigSKINBauer 03-02-2005 05:14 AM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
9.5 mil +6.5-x
x= this years salary

i think?!
that is a sheeeeet load of $

That Guy 03-02-2005 05:48 AM

Re: Skins give Samuels $15.75M bonus
he's getting the 15.75 divided by 6 years (7 year deal, but can only pro rate to 6 years now i believe...) = 2.625 + this years salary (probably 2mill?) so 10-12mill under or so, that's being a bit generous...

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