Gay heads home with a $17m deal (1 Viewer)

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Free agent corner lands with the Saints

By Christopher L. Gasper/Boston Globe

Another day of free agency, another departed cornerback for the Patriots.

Yesterday, Randall Gay followed in the footsteps of Asante Samuel, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles Friday, agreeing to a four-year deal with the New Orleans Saints that could be worth a maximum of $17.6 million, depending on playing time. Gay got a $3.75 million signing bonus as part of $6.4 million in guarantees in the first two seasons.

It's a homecoming for Gay, a Louisiana native who played at Louisiana State before joining the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2004.

"New Orleans was our first choice other than New England," said Gay's agent, Albert Elias. "If we could not stay there, and that became apparent [Saturday] that it was not going to work out, then New Orleans was our first choice. They showed the most interest in him and it was the best situation for him."

The Saints will give Gay, who was used primarily as a nickel back last season by the Patriots and finished second to Samuel on the team in interceptions with a career-high three, a chance to compete for a starting role. Gay will have a $750,000 base salary for 2008 and could earn another $1 million if he plays 70 percent of the Saints' defensive snaps.

The Patriots were among the three teams that pursued Gay, who played last year under a $1.3 million second-round restricted free agent tender, the hardest, joined by the Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the sides were never really close.

Full Story - Boston Globe
 

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