Tag Archives: Mike Reiss

Tom Brady Extension Done, Although Still Year to Year

Steve Balestrieri
August 5, 2019 at 6:30 am ET

The Patriots and Tom Brady have agreed to a two-year extension for the Patriots QB that will ostensibly keep him in a Patriots uniform until after the 2021 season. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Brady’s salary will actually increase by $8 million to $23 million while saving the Patriots a reported $5 million against the salary cap in 2019. His salary in 2020 is reported to be $30 million and in 2021 a reported $32 million. 

ESPN’s Mike Reiss posted the following about Brady’s contract.

One of the most notable parts of Brady’s two-year extension is the two seasons added are void years, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. What that means is the extension gives Brady an $8 million raise this season, and then the sides can –and likely will — adjust the contract in 2020 and 2021.

Brady has never held the Patriots hostage under the cap by demanding to be paid top dollar and what other QBs, who have never achieved what he has, are being paid. He’s always stated that his priority is the team spend the money to surround him with better players. 

Brady has always maintained that his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen who makes somewhere about $50 million annually keeps them quite comfortable. He’s always had trust [as Reiss pointed out] that the Patriots and Robert Kraft will pay him fairly for what he has produced on the field. 

Tom Brady speaks to the media after practice this week.

So, while on paper Brady is receiving a two-year extension worth $70 million, it remains a year-to-year proposition. The team can void it next year or in 2021 if they so choose. Brady was asked about his contract after training camp practice earlier last week, and he said, “We’re all day-to-day if you think about it,” he answered. “None of us are really promised anything. So, I’m trying to do the best I can today and just let those [contracts] things sort themselves out… so, we’ll see how it goes.”

Brady has steadfastly maintained that he wants to play until he is 45 years old. This new extension will carry the Pats QB to within six months of that milestone. 

Of course, there are some on social media that are livid. As always, they are looking for a nefarious back-door, a hand-shake deal between Brady and Kraft. If you are bored and want to get a good laugh, search for “Brady contract extension” on Twitter and read some of the most outrageous tweets out there. Some of these people must have thousands of shares of stock in Reynolds Wrap for the tin-foil hats that they’re wearing. 

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.

Four Monday Patriots Thoughts: Esiason Handled Brady Situation Poorly

Ian Logue
June 10, 2019 at 7:35 am ET

With the Patriots coming off of a productive week of practice and just a couple of sessions left before the countdown to training camp begins, here are some thoughts as we kick off this week.

1) One of the more frustrating topics of discussions last week was former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason opting to publicly go after Tom Brady for Brady’s reported decision to pursue the trademark for “Tom Terrific”, which drew the ire of the retired quarterback.

Esiason, for the most part, has always had nothing but positive comments for Brady both on television and in his weekly interviews on WEEI. But Esiason went off the rails last week, attacking Brady after his strong feelings against the idea of trademarking that term apparently stemmed from the fact he credited his childhood hero, Mets pitcher Tom Seaver, as being the player who, in his mind, is the one worthy of that moniker since that’s how Mets fans referred to Seaver during his career.

Needless to say, the idea of Brady trademarking the nickname got Esiason all fired up, with the generally level-headed former player making some ridiculous comments to WFAN last week.

“When you’ve got so much goddamned money, you can do whatever you want, and this is now what Tom Brady wants to take — “Tom Terrific” as his nickname,” said Esiason via WFAN. “Maybe in New England they call him that, I guess. But you know what? We’ve been calling Tom Seaver “Tom Terrific” forever, for as long as I can remember, for 50 years. That’s who Tom Terrific has always been.”

Esiason wasn’t done there, chastising Brady further.

“I am disgusted,” continued Esiason. “And I’m really surprised, and I’m really — I don’t know, it just feels sleazy to me, you know?”

While Esiason’s home market is now New York, it’s surprising that if he truly felt that way, it seems like it would have made more sense for him to at least do the right thing and reach out privately to Brady for more context, which would have been the smarter move. Instead, Esiason made assumptions and disparaged Brady publicly, which simply wasn’t the right move and was certainly disappointing.

Brady was asked about the situation this week, but explained that the decision was really over the fact he didn’t like the nickname, which he’s heard used when some have referred to him. Unfortunately, it got blown way out of proportion and he was disappointed with what it turned into.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Brady, referring to the overall backlash over the situation. “I was actually trying to do something because I didn’t like the nickname and I wanted to make sure no one used it because some people wanted to use it.”

“I was trying to keep people from using it and then it got spun around to something different than what it was. Good lesson learned and try to do things a little different in the future.”

Seems simple enough. Unfortunately, Esiason’s comments may have potentially damaged any relationship the two may have had for stupid reasons. Brady said it’s a lesson learned. Hopefully, Esiason learned one as well.


Hightower has been a clutch performer in the postseason.

2) One of the things that stood out from Thursday night’s presentation of the Super Bowl rings to the players were Bill Belichick’s comments about Dont’a Hightower, where Mike Reiss said that Belichick referred to the veteran as “Mr. February”, stemming from the big performances the linebacker always seems to come up with during each of the team’s Super Bowl victories.

So far this offseason, things seem to be going well for Hightower, who has dealt with his fair share of injuries during his career. However, it appears the work he’s doing is paying off as he’s been focused on getting his body healthy, having lost weight along with spending time working on his flexibility. According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, that time has also been spent with offensive lineman Shaq Mason, with the two training in Tennessee as Hightower continues working toward trying to make sure he’s able to stay on the field in 2019.

“Things haven’t changed. I’m just trying to stay lean. That’s what I focused on last year, trying to stay healthy a majority of the year,” said Hightower. “I just want to stay on top of that, and keep going that route. I don’t want to change anything, because I want to stay on the field.”

One of Hightower’s strengths has been his ability to get after the quarterback, most notably, in the playoffs. He came up big against the Rams, finishing with two sacks and three total quarterback hits against Jared Goff during their most recent championship run. Whether or not he’ll see more of that type of role now that Trey Flowers is gone remains to be seen but Hightower said he’s ready to do whatever Belichick needs him to this season and he’s hopeful all this work will pay dividends.

“Whatever Bill wants me to do, wherever he wants me to play, that’s where I’ll be,” said Hightower, “but again, my body feels a lot better. My knees are a lot better. The yoga helps with my core, strengthens my quads, all my limbs have more flexibility. If all that ties together (with getting to the quarterback), I’m down for it. But I feel good. I just want to stay on top of it.”


Edelman has come a long way as a player since being drafted in 2009. (USA TODAY Images)

3) The initial reports coming out of minicamp seem to point to good things for rookie receiver N’Keal Harry, which is certainly a positive. But one of the even more interesting aspects of this story is the involvement of Julian Edelman, who reportedly spent some time working with the rookie on the finer points of playing in New England’s offense.

According to Reiss, Edelman spent some time during the recent sessions talking to the rookie following a route he ran, which the next time around saw Harry do it a little differently and more precise, leading to praise from quarterback Tom Brady.

It’s amazing when you think back to where Edelman started to where he is now, having evolved into one of the best players at his position in a league where he’s generally not even mentioned among the top receivers in the NFL. The latter fact is the one that likely continues to motivate him and here he is, helping another up-and-coming player who will hopefully help him get another opportunity at a championship next February.

Reiss noted in his Sunday column that one of Edelman’s own mentors was former Patriot Fred Taylor, who spent a lot of time with him in his early years. The two would spend car rides together talking and developed a good relationship.

“I saw a lot of myself in him. Julian was so hard on himself, and when the coaches were hard on him, he would get down. Way down,” Taylor told Reiss. “Going to New England can be tough for rookies, with [Bill Belichick’s] coaching style, but I would say, ‘You don’t know how good you got it. You all have to appreciate this.’ Julian thought Coach was being a hardass, and tough on him. But that’s because he saw something in Julian. Some people don’t recognize that until it’s too late, but fortunately for Julian, he figured it out.”

Taylor’s comments sparked a reminder of Edelman’s attitude when it came to that sort of tough treatment, which stems from a mention in the book “Relentless”, authored by Edelman and NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran, which gave a really great glimpse into the receiver’s life. But one area that stood out was Edelman talking about the fact he preferred people being straight with him, especially if he wasn’t doing things correctly.

“You need to be called out and told the hard truths. You need to be shown the consequences of what will happen if you screw up,” explained Edleman. “You need people who won’t say, “Everything’s OK…” when it really isn’t. My father pointed out the bad more than the good. And Coach Belichick spends a lot more time telling us what we need to further improve on instead of patting us on the ass for something we’re supposed to be doing anyway. You have to have thick skin in this world.”

It’s a good mentality to have and it’s great to seeing him having a positive influence on someone like Harry, who they likely have high expectations for. It’s a little early to read too much into it, but let’s just hope Harry is filing away this information and will build on it by the time training camp begins.


Brady once promised he’d take advantage of any opportunity prior to becoming a starter.

4) I stumbled upon an interesting article by Jaclyn Galvin and Sam Gordon over at PrimeTimeSportsTalk.com, with the two having caught up with former Patriots quarterback Michael Bishop.

For anyone who doesn’t recognize that name, Bishop was a former New England quarterback and a 7th round draft pick selected by then Patriots head coach Pete Carroll, who took the Kansas State standout with the 227th overall pick in 1999.

Belichick inherited Bishop when he took over in 2000 following Carroll’s firing after an 8-8 finish in 1999. Brady was selected in the 6th round that year during Belichick’s first NFL Draft as Patriots head coach, joining Bishop behind then-starter Drew Bledsoe.

The two apparently developed a good relationship, with Bishop saying that they each talked about how they expected the other to make the most of an opportunity if it ever came.

“We made a promise to each other, he said to me ‘If you get an opportunity, don’t give it back,'” Bishop said. “I said the same thing if he gets an opportunity to play don’t give it back and his opportunity came up.”

Off the field, the two apparently spent a lot of time together, talking about their goals and what they hoped to accomplish.

“From the time I was [in New England], me and Brady used to hangout. We used go to this place called ‘The Rack,’ and I got some stories I can’t tell you,” Bishop said. “But from actually being around Brady, at the time [Drew] Bledsoe was the starter and I finally got moved up to backup, me and Brady spent a lot time before practice and after practice, we shared a lot of stories and goals we both had.”

Bishop didn’t get to see Brady’s ascension first-hand. He was cut in training camp the following season in 2001, with Brady moving ahead of him on the depth chart behind Bledsoe, while free agent quarterback Damon Huard held the other spot.

Obviously the rest is history, but it’s interesting to learn that Bishop and Brady were as friendly as they were. Kudos to Galvin and Gordon for providing a nice walk down memory lane and the rest of the piece is definitely worth checking out, as it has some other terrific bits of information as well.

Stalemate may lead to no entry to Pats HoF for Raymond Clayborn

John Morgan
April 12, 2017 at 8:30 pm ET

I just read this disheartening Mike Reiss article from his espnBoston blog:

Logjam among senior candidates for Patriots’ Hall leads to stalemate

Arguably the biggest surprise of Wednesday’s New England Patriots Hall of Fame Nomination Committee meeting was the stalemate among voters between senior candidates Raymond Clayborn (cornerback) and Leon Gray (offensive tackle).

The column goes on to point out how difficult it is for older players such as Clayborn and Gray to gain entrance to the Patriots Hall of Fame, because fan voting inevitably results in younger, more recently retired players winning that popularity contest.

In regards to the ten-person senior committee, a nominee has to receive at least 80% of the votes. Neither side wanting Clayborn or Gray backed down, so neither got enough votes. Fred Marion and Ron Burton were the other nominees.

Reiss has a rather ominous speculation for those of us that have lobbied not only for Clayborn, but for more consideration and genuine opportunity for those that were part of the franchise prior to 2000.

It sparks the question of whether either will break the 80 percent senior threshold in the coming years to earn induction.

Is it time to change the process for Patriots Hall of Fame?

The time has come to at least reconsider the entire process for enshrinement to the Patriots Hall of Fame. It was a nice gesture by Robert Kraft to include fans by having them vote for the three finalists. That process however has proven to be flawed. The most recently retired players are fresh in people’s minds, and garner more votes. Older players don’t stand a chance of recognition.

Maybe the roles should be reversed. Have fans vote for the nominees, with a maximum number on the players and/or coaches from each decade. Then send those nominations to the entire committee to be pared to three finalists. Have the entire committee reconvene and vote on the winner. Make the whole process transparent by making the votes public.

We already waited too long for Houston Antwine, Jim Nance, Julius Adams and Chuck Fairbanks to be honored publicly, before they passed away. Let’s not let that happen again with Raymond Clayborn and other Patriot legends.

Matthew Slater Supports Nate Ebner’s Olympic Dreams On First Day Of Camp

Robert Alvarez
July 28, 2016 at 7:59 pm ET

As it was previously reported, New England Patriots safety Nate Ebner is currently taking a leave of absence from the team to complete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio with the United States Rugby team.

During the early Thursday morning practice session at Gillette Stadium, ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss first discovered that teammate and fellow special teamer Matthew Slater chose to wear Ebners “43” jersey as a show of support.

“I have a lot of respect for that guy. I wanted to show him a little love today…This is supporting him as he chases his dream,” Slater told Reiss following practice.

VIDEO: Newly Signed Patriots DT Featured In “Key and Peele” Sketch

Robert Alvarez
December 16, 2015 at 10:09 pm ET

On Wednesday, The New England Patriots signed free-agent defensive tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen to add depth at the position following the season ending injury to Dominique Easley.

According to a report by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, ” Kitchen was present in the team’s locker room Wednesday and dressing for practice.”

Reiss stated, “Kitchen entered the NFL as an undrafted player with the Ravens in 2012. He was claimed by the Browns on waivers before the start of the 2012 season, and went on to play in 40 regular-season games and totaled 78 tackles for them in three seasons.”

Kitchen also has had a brief run-in with television, as he was featured in a sketch during a Super Bowl themed episode of the Comedy Central sketch comedy show Key & Peele back in January(2:25 mark)

Tom Brady Wins AFC Offensive Player of the Week Award

Robert Alvarez
November 4, 2015 at 10:43 pm ET

For the 25th time in his soon-to-be Hall of Fame career, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was awarded AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the 25th time on Thursday for his performance against the Miami Dolphins.

In the game, Brady completed 26 of 38 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. It was the 24th time in his career he had a four-plus touchdown’s passing game.

Brady’s 25th Player of the Week Award is second to only Peyton Manning’s 27 for most all time for any NFL player.

Through seven games this season, Brady has thrown 20 touchdown passes to just one lone interception and is on pace for 45 touchdowns the rest of the way per research by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss.

Brady and the Patriots are at home Week nine against the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon at 1pm.

Patriots Guard Tre’ Jackson Won’t Need Surgery, Possible Stork Return

Robert Alvarez
October 31, 2015 at 11:15 am ET

As first reported by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, New England Patriots rookie guard Tre’ Jackson will not require surgery on his left knee following an injury during the fourth quarter of Thursday nights win over the Miami Dolphins.

The sources informed Reiss that Jackson did not have any ACL or MCL tears in his knee follwing MRI tests that came back negative and his playing future will be day-to-day dependent on how he responds to the recovery treatments.

Jackson was a fourth round draft pick of the Patriots in 2015 and has started four of the seven games this season while playing in all of them.

The Patriots have been depleted on the offensive line all season long, losing Nate Solder for the year with a bicep injury, Marcus Cannon sustained a toe injury against the Colts and has an unknown return, and Ryan Wendell has missed the entire season with an undisclosed illness.

The other good news, 2014 starting center Bryan Stork should be eligible return to action against the Washington Redskins next week.

 

Patriot Pride – By Troy Brown, Mike Reiss: Required Reading for NE Fans

Steve Balestrieri
at 9:04 am ET

Troy Brown Patriot Pride

For anyone who watched the Patriots transform themselves from a perennial doormat to an NFL juggernaut, “Patriot Pride, My Life in the New England Dynasty” by Troy Brown and Mike Reiss is a must read. Also included is a foreward by Patriots QB and Brown’s teammate Tom Brady.

Brown’s early life is chronicled in Blacksville, South Carolina where his humble beginnings shaped him and prepared him for a future NFL career that lasted 15 seasons with the New England Patriots.

Brown is a shining example of a smaller player from a modest upbringing that can beat the odds and be a giant in the game played by physically much bigger men.  Brown was an 8th round draft pick (they don’t have those anymore), from Marshall so today he would be considered an undrafted free agent.

His phone call from Bill Parcells was brief and typically Parcells, after welcoming him to the Patriots, Parcells said, “Thanks Troy, you just save me a lot of money.” At the time UDFAs signed for considerably more than Brown’s $15,000 would so it was Parcells way of challenging him. More of that would come later.

When arriving in New England in 1993, the Patriots were far from the powerful model franchise that they are today. They were nearly always at the bottom and had just hired the Super Bowl champion coach Parcells to try to turn the moribund franchise around.

Brown had an immediate rapport with Parcells and he saw how by publicly rebuking players, it was a way he had of challenging them, to bring out their best. Parcells’ words to Brown were, “Troy, you’ll never be a starting receiver in this league,” Parcells said. “Just a role player is the ceiling for you…Maybe a fourth or fifth receiver is the best you can do.”

Brown went thru his trials and tribulations and survived being cut by Parcells to being brought back and gradually working his way not only on the roster but earning a bigger and bigger slice of playing time along the way. He and backup quarterback and now Patriots announcer Scott Zolak would hone their skills by running the scout team offense. They would frequently go off script and make plays.

The scout team would have plays diagrammed to go to a certain place on every down. But instead of throwing into double and triple coverage, Zolak and Brown would improvise and Brown was productive and he opened eyes on the coaching staff.

After the 1996 Super Bowl, which Brown missed with an injury, Parcells left for the Jets. Pete Carroll came to New England and the culture change was evident. Brown never felt comfortable or confident in Carroll and the team foundered. Three years later Bill Belichick arrived and everything changed.

Brown had his best season in 2001 leading the NFL in punt returns and catching 101 passes for 1199 yards and five touchdowns. Under Tom Brady, the team overcame a rocky 0-2 start to beat a heavily favored Pittsburgh team in the AFC Championship game where Brown returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown.

The Steelers were so cocky that they hung a Pittsburgh conference champion t-shirt in the Patriots locker room. From there the Patriots stunned the NFL by upsetting the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

Brown recalls being shocked that the team during a third Super Bowl run in 2004 asked him to play defense when injuries decimated the secondary. That selfless act and the fact that he played very well in the role, epitomizes the Patriots under Bill Belichick. Everyone puts personal goals behind team goals and no one showcased that more than Brown.

As his career in the NFL was winding down, Brown knew it was time to retire when his body told him the time was right. Working out at Marshall in the off-season, he knew it was time and informed the Patriots he was retiring.

Brown parlayed his playing career into a broadcasting one, he’s now a regular on Comcast Sports New England with their Patriots coverage and was elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2012.

Reiss weaves a great factual bio on one of the Patriots most beloved players on the Super Bowl winning teams. This book is a perfect gift for the Patriot fan and will one of those works that is always referred to as a ready reference to not only Troy Brown’s career but those three Super Bowl winning teams from 2001, 2003-04.

It is an easy, entertaining read and one that you can’t put down. You can order it on-line thru Amazon.com or find it in your own bookseller everywhere.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Patriots work out Hakeem Nicks, two other players.

Robert Alvarez
October 13, 2015 at 9:10 am ET

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the New England Patriots invited free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to Foxboro on Monday for a workout with the team.

Nicks, a former Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants, also drafted him with the 29th overall pick in 2009. He moved on to the Indianapolis Colts in 2014 where he played in all 16 games but only had 38 receptions for 408 yards and 4 touchdowns.

In seven career NFL seasons, Nicks has 349 receptions for 5,027 yards and 31 touchdowns.

Nicks signed a one year deal with the Tennessee Titans back in April but was released on September 5, 2015. Since that time he has made rounds for workouts with various teams this season but has been unable to reach any deal.

Also according to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots worked out tight end Nick Kasa and running back Isaiah Pead.

Kasa played the entirety of his 2013 rookie season with the Oakland Raiders but has just one reception for a touchdown. He failed a team physical and was released the following season and has not played in the NFL since.

Running back Isaiah Pead was a former second round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2012 and has played in 27 career NFL games totaling just 78 rushing yards with no touchdowns.

Pead was suspended the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the substance abuse policy and missed all of the 2014 NFL season after tearing his ACL in a preseason game. He was cut by the Rams on September 29, 2015.

As Reiss reiterates, The Patriots will consistently workout various free agents over the course of a season  in order to keep an updated backup “emergency list”.

Former Colt Herron Works Out for Patriots

Robert Alvarez
October 5, 2015 at 9:17 pm ET

On Monday ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss first reported that the New England Patriots invited former Indianapolis Colts running back Dnaiel “Boom” Herron into Foxboro for a workout with the team.

Herron, who played in all 16 games and the playoffs for the Colts in 2014, was sidelined with a shoulder injury after returning a kickoff against the Cincinnati Bengals during the final preseason game.

On September 6th 2015, Herron was waived injured by the Colts but went unclaimed and remained on injured reserve the first month of the season.

Herron proved to be a reliable running back for the Colts in 2014,  rushing for 351 yards and one touchdown, while adding on 21 receptions for 173 yards during the regular season. As Reiss reiterated in a tweet today, its normal to see the Patriots workout players every week to keep the depth chart fresh in case of an emergency situation.