BOSTON (CBS) — Five years ago, when Asante Samuel left the New England Patriots for greener pastures in Philadelphia, he remembers reading a quote from Wes Welker that said the cornerback had chosen getting paid over winning a Super Bowl.
Now, with Welker facing free agency and with Samuel having a very well-stocked safe full of cash somewhere, the cornerback has some advice for Welker.
“He made a comment when I left saying I chased the money and not the championship,” Samuel said on FOX Sports Radio. “Here’s my advice to you, Welker: You better chase the money, brother.”
It’s an interesting quote, considering the source, who’s been through a similar situation in New England. The Patriots placed the franchise tag on Samuel prior to the 2007 season, a move that didn’t sit too well with Samuel. He left the following season, signing a big-money deal with Philadelphia after the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII.
Welker was franchised last season, saying publicly he was taking a “leap of faith” that the franchise tag would be the first step toward agreeing to a long-term contract. Talks then quickly broke down, and Welker’s now a free agent (unless the Patriots place the tag on him again, though that is unlikely).
Despite Samuel’s less-than-amicable departure from the Patriots, it appears as though time and retrospect have softened any negative feelings he may have once held toward Bill Belichick.
“All I can say is he made me the man I am today. I can’t do nothing but respect that,” Samuel said of Belichick. “He challenged me, he tried to break me, whatever you want to call it. You know waht we used to go through. But only the strong survive, so he made me the man I am today.”
Samuel wouldn’t say whether players in New England are treated unfairly.
“I think it’s run like a business,” Samuel said. “And the main objective is, in this business, to make money. That’s the main objective. So that’s what it’s about.”