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Patriots.com News Blitz 3/25/05

On a relatively slow news day Tom Curran of The Providence Journal has the latest on Tom Brady'scontract extension. Curran reports Brady and the Patriots agreed to the general structure of a six-year, $60 million-dollar deal some time ago. What appears to be holding up the deal's completion, according to Curran, is the $24 million-dollar signing bonus Brady will receive. Generally, a signing bonus is guaranteed money, and is often the key to big deals in the NFL, where later years in a given deal are often not realized. However, the Patriots are looking to divide Brady's signing bonus into four partitions, with the later installments not guaranteed. ''That would mean if Brady got hurt after a few years, portions of the $24-million bonus would never be realized,'' writes Curran. Brady, who is taking less money than his quarterback counterparts Peyton Manning and Michael Vick, is thus far balking at the Patriots unusual proposal.

The Norton Mirror reports on next weekend's Coaching Academy, to be held at Gillette Stadium. The second annual seminar for local youth and high school football players will take place Saturday, April 2nd. ''Instructors will include members of the New England Patriots coaching staff, including assistant head coach/offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia and linebacker coach Dean Pees,'' the Mirror reports. ''Other speakers will include Patriots Director of Football Development and Promotions Andre Tippett.''

Finally, if you have not already, check out ESPN.com's NFL Draft Preview section. In addition to diaries of some NFL prospects, and in-depth analysis of the various positions, you will find Mel Kiper's Big Board and Mock Draft. In his latest Mock Draft, Kiper suggest the Patriots will select Nebraska linebacker Barrett Ruud, an inside 'backer reportedly in the mold of run-stuffing Ted Johnson.

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