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Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Tom Brady's extension a delicate process


"Mike & Mike in the Morning" continued to explore Tom Brady's contract issues Tuesday, interviewing ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck and ESPNBoston.com reporter Mike Reiss.

Brady is entering the final year of his contract and wants an extension, but that appears highly unlikely before the New England Patriots open training camp July 30.

Hasselbeck said there was no chance Brady would hold out. Reiss said he would be shocked if Brady wasn't on the field for the first whistle.

But Hasselbeck noted the relationship won't necessarily remain hunky dory just because Brady shows up at Gillette Stadium next week.

"The rhetoric out of his mouth will start to change," Hasselbeck said. "There's some risk involved there. If he gets ticked off enough about the fact they haven't shown him some loyalty for the things that he's done for that organization, and now all of a sudden, 'Listen, I've gone this far without a deal. I'm not that far from being [a free agent].' And think about that money for Tom Brady."

Reiss raised an interesting point about why an extension hasn't been hammered out despite a year's worth of talks. Patriots owner Robert Kraft's status within the league at such a delicate time could be a factor. Can he still preach fiscal responsibility to the NFL Players Association and pay Brady more than the St. Louis Rams will give to No. 1 draft pick Sam Bradford?

"You have to look at it and say 'What would it represent if the Patriots do sign Brady to a Bradford- or even a Matthew Stafford-type deal right now?' For [Kraft], it puts him in a little bit of a challenging spot," Reiss said. "You're balancing the league's interests and the team's interests.

"From a timetable standpoint, the Patriots might look at it and say 'Well, is there a need to really rush and do this right now? We have maybe more time to strike a deal.' "

Reiss also provided an update about guard Logan Mankins, an unsigned restricted free agent. Reiss said the Patriots have made what they feel is a fair proposal, but it falls short of the seven-year, $56.7 million deal the New Orleans Saints gave guard Jahri Evans.

"This one is borderline nasty with some of the comments that have been made there," Reiss said of the trade demand Mankins made in June. "There's no movement on that situation. Logan Mankins is not under contract. I wouldn't expect him to be here for the start of camp."