Tough call. On one hand the Pats have a track record of not giving in to $$ demands that strain their cap position. On the other you have the recent scenario with Branch and how the team overestimated its ability to overcome the loss of one contributor.
Where the team came as close as it did last year and how it reacted to its shortcomings leads me to believe that BB has learned a valuable lesson. He has built a team to contend tis year. I do not think he will let Samuel's skill not be a factor in this season. Meaning he will try to pursuade him to play for the franchise amount, or trade him for an asset that would contribute this season. I would not expect a trade for a 2008 draft pick to satisfy .
Best indications will be who is playing corner in camp. If t. James looks good and Hobbs is progressing, we may have no issue. If it is musical chairs and no one is taking the spot as his own, then you may see a trade pop up quick.