The “Patriot Way” doesn’t impress former New England Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel, and neither do the people who swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.
It was a mantra and a team culture that many believe carried the Patriots to 20 years of greatness under the watchful eyes of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, but Asante wasn’t drinking the Kool-Aid.
“Some of them be brainwashed with that Patriot Way,” he stated on a recent episode of the “I Am Athlete” podcast. “I ain’t going for none of that. I don’t know what no Patriot Way is.”
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) July 18, 2022
Over his career, Samuel has played for the Eagles and Falcons, but it was in New England that the now 41-year-old player found stardom, but things were at times contentious and Samuel has never held back on his criticism of Bill Belichick’s methods.
At the heart of the divide is, unsurprisingly, money.
“Much of Samuel’s criticism stemmed from his contract standoff with the team prior to the 2007 season,” Mass Live reports. “The Patriots had attempted to put the franchise tag on Samuel, who was set to become a free agent.”
According to the outlet, “Samuel did not appreciate the team’s effort to prevent him from hitting free agency and barring him from finding a bigger payday on the free market.”
It especially frustrated Samuel that Belichick was one of the highest-paid coaches in the league at the time, yet he barred him from seeking more money for himself.
“All of them is company men, talking about Patriot Way,” Samuel said. “I don’t know none of that.”
“I’m here to get money, take care of my family, the same way Belichick is here to take care of his family, get his money,” he continued. “So when you try to hold my money back and you want all your money, I ain’t got no respect for you.”
While Samuel acknowledged that Belichick is one of the game’s greatest all-time coaches, he gave quarterback Tom Brady much of the credit for the successes of many of Belichick’s decisions.
“For Samuel, it didn’t matter who else was on the team as long as Brady was running the offense,” according to Mass Live.
“We can make these decisions because we’ve got Tom,” Samuel said. “It don’t matter what decisions you can make. Who’s next up to bring in from free agency? Can they pass the test? Bring them in and make sure they can make it to the fourth quarter.”
“That’s all we need is somebody, because we got Tom, everything is gonna work,” he explained. “I saw it with my own eyes.”
“I’m not joking,” he stressed. “This is the truth.”
You can watch the full discussion with Samuel here:
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