An Open Letter to the New England Patriots

Anthony EmersonAnalyst IFebruary 23, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 31:  Former Patriots teammates Asante Samuel #22 of the NFC's Philadelphia Eagles and Vincent Wilfork #75 of the AFC's New England Patriots greet one another on the field during the 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl game at Sun Life Stadium on January 31, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The AFC defeated the NFC 41-34. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

This article is a minor rant. Some of this article is written out of anger for the Patriots' economic stinginess.

Dear New England Patriots players, coaches, and executives:

I have a few questions about the state of the franchise. Why aren't you paying your players?

It seemed to start with Asante Samuel (pictured, No. 22), the elite cornerback who used to play for the you. It seemed that every pass thrown remotely near him was intercepted. When his contract came around, you did the thing everyone was telling you not to: you placed the franchise tag on him. That immediately ticked Samuel off, and eventually led to him leaving for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now, you have a sub-par secondary at best. The money that you've paid in total to these less-than-stellar corners is more than what you would've paid to Asante Samuel.

And now, you've placed the franchise tag on Vince Wilfork, one of the emotional leaders on the Patriots. Wilfork himself said that this was a "...slap in the face."

Now, I know you and Wilfork are still trying to reach a long-term contract. But, what are the chances of that happening? I've heard that they are pretty doubtful.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

This brings me to a bigger issue: What of Randy Moss when his contract expires? What of Tom Brady? What of Wes Welker? Will you refuse to pay them the money they deserve?

With all due respect, Patriots, your business model is archaic. Do you think that you'll be able to draw the big name free agents for less money just with the belief that you can win Super Bowls and have a good locker room? You've had two consecutive sub-par seasons, one with an early playoff departure, and one without the playoffs at all.

Through the trials and tribulations of the 2009-2010 seasons, I tried to remain optimistic. But, then you posted a worse record this season with Tom Brady (10-6) than without him (11-5).

To be honest, Patriots, you won't be able to draw away big free agents, or keep your best players, if you refuse to pay them. So please, pay your players, Patriots. Your fans will thank you.


Anthony Emerson

(an incredibly angry Patriots fan)


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.