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Forbes: Bill Belichick now the highest-paid pro coach

05.18.11 at 3:34 pm ET
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With the retirement of Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson, Patriots coach Bill Belichick is now the highest-paid coach in the four major professional sports, according to Forbes.

The magazine estimates Belichick takes home an annual salary of $7.5 million ‘€” he just edges out Seattle’s Pete Carroll and Washington’s Mike Shanahan, both of whom make an estimated $7 million annually, according to Forbes. (Doc Rivers also just joined the $7 million club ‘€” he inked a new deal with the Celtics earlier this week.)

With the retirement of Jackson (who made a reported $10.3 million last year), Forbes writes: “Little surprise, then, that Belichick now takes home more money than any coach in the four major North American sports leagues–some $7.5 million a year, we estimate. The Patriots have never publicly confirmed Belichick’s contract details, but industry pundits have little doubt that the long-term extension he signed in 2007 is north of the roughly $7 million annually that Mike Holmgren was getting from the Seattle Seahawks.”

The rest of the Top 10 is dominated by NFL coaches: Chicago’s Lovie Smith makes $6 million, Arizona’s Ken Whisenhunt makes $5.75 million, New York’s Tom Coughlin makes $5.25 million and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin checks in with at $5 million annually.

The last time we heard Belichick talk about his deal was back in 2007, when it was reported the coach and franchise agreed to an extension that would keep him with the franchise through at least the 2013 season, according to ESPN.

‘€œI don’€™t talk about contracts, but I would say I like working here, I like the organization ‘€” ownership, coaches, scouts, players, and the guys I work with,’€ he said in July 2007. ‘€œI appreciate the opportunity to work here, and it’€™s a good situation. I don’€™t see that changing anytime soon.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, Doc Rivers, Ken Whisenhunt, Lovie Smith

Gary Guyton on Jerod Mayo making the NFL Network’s Top 100 list: ‘He’s the No. 1 player in my eyes’

05.18.11 at 1:04 pm ET
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According to Peter King of SI.com, Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo will check in at No. 62 in this week’s edition of NFL Network’s countdown of the Top 100 players currently in the NFL. Mayo is the first New England player on the list, which was compiled through player-only votes.

The honor is hardly a surprise ‘€” Mayo is considered one of the best young linebackers in the league. As a first-round pick in 2008, he was the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year, and this past season, he led the NFL with 193 tackles, the most for a Patriot since Steve Nelson finished with 207 in 1984.

Mayo’s pal Gary Guyton was happy to hear his teammate made the list.

“The only thing I know is that Jerod’s a great player. To me, he’s the No. 1 player in my eyes,” Guyton said of Mayo. “He does great things. He’s a student of the game. I wish and I pray nothing but the best for him. He’s a good player and a good guy and a good person.”

Read More: Gary Guyton, Jerod Mayo, Steve Nelson,

Bill Belichick talks about his relationship with Johns Hopkins lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala

05.18.11 at 9:01 am ET
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No one questions the lacrosse bonafides of Patriots coach Bill Belchick ‘€” he’s been an aficionado since he was a child growing up in Maryland. But a new story reveals how closely Belichick continues to follow the game. The Baltimore-based site “Press Box Online” has a story detailing the relationship between Belichick and Johns Hopkins lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala. In it, Pietramala and Belichick talks about several aspects of their friendship, including the first time they talked:

“The first time I ever spoke with him, we spoke on the phone, and our conversation lasted almost an hour,” Pietramala said. “All I wanted to do was talk to him about his world, about the NFL, and about the draft, the season and preparations ‘€” how they do things. Interestingly enough for me, all he wanted to hear about was what we were doing ‘€” and lacrosse, our season, the challenges we were facing, games we played. I got off the phone, and I could not have been more taken aback at what a regular guy he was.”

Belichick also discusses his relationship with the Johns Hopkins coach.

“We have a good appreciation for each other and what we’re going through,” Belichick said. “The ups and downs as a team — no matter what sport it’s in, you still go through the same things. We talk about a lot of those things.”

“He’s been great,” Belichick said of Pietramala. “I really have a lot of respect for what he does. Just being down there during the games with him, and in the locker room ‘€¦ watching the way he handles and prepares a team, I’ve learned a lot from that. He enjoys the practices, the film sessions, the meetings just as much as the game itself. That’s why he does such a great job with his team.”

Read More: bill belchick, Dave Pietramala,

Cris Collinsworth to Robert Kraft: ‘Take the lead’ in talks between players and owners

05.17.11 at 3:47 pm ET
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Over the last week or two, NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth has been outspoken in his feelings concerning the lockout. He recently indicated that he believes there’s a real chance we won’t see football until November if at all this year. And in his latest column for Football Pros, he puts out a call for Patriots owner Robert Kraft to “take the lead” when it comes to getting a deal done between the players and the owners.

In a column that was posted Tuesday afternoon, Collinsworth writes:

“Now is when we need rational men like Robert Kraft to step forward. Mr. Kraft was a fan long before he became an owner. He is a terrific family man who can see the same view of this process that we are all watching. Please Mr. Kraft take the lead. There are other owners who will be pushing various agendas, but as a player, I would trust Robert Kraft to make a fair deal. I really would.”

Collinsworth said he came to this conclusion after reading statements from this Q&A with the media, adding that Kraft made him “believe that at least somebody has a feel for the fans.”

“So far Mr. Kraft has not been willing to take the lead, probably because the Hawks always get the most attention. But Kraft is liked and respected by almost everyone in the NFL. He is tough but fair. The players would listen to him. Tom Brady could be the point man. Lawyers be gone. There is a deal to be made, and the time is now. Please Mr. Kraft, take the lead.”

Read More: Cris Collinsworth, lockout, Robert Kraft, Tom Brady

Bill Belichick on Drew Bledsoe getting the Hall call: ‘I congratulate Drew on this most deserving honor’

05.16.11 at 9:34 pm ET
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Patriots coach Bill Belichick issued a statement Monday night on the occasion of quarterback Drew Bledsoe being voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame:

“I congratulate Drew on this most deserving honor. For his production at the quarterback position and his professionalism for nearly a decade, Drew was instrumental in helping put this franchise back on the map. His induction will be an appropriate celebration of an outstanding career.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Drew Bledsoe, Patriots Hall of Fame,

Players, owners issue dueling statements in wake of court decision

05.16.11 at 8:34 pm ET
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In the wake of Monday’s decision by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to keep the lockout in place, both the NFL and the players issued statements.

Here is the full statement from the players: ‘€œThe NFL’€™s request for a stay of the lockout that was granted today means no football. The players are in mediation and are working to try to save the 2011 season. The court will hear the full appeal on June 3.’€

Here is the complete statement from the league: ‘€œIt is now time to devote all of our energy to reaching a comprehensive agreement that will improve the game for the benefit of current and retired players, teams, and, most importantly, the fans. This litigation has taken the parties away from the negotiating table where these issues should be resolved. We remain confident that the appellate court will determine that this is a labor dispute that should be governed by federal labor law. But the league and players, without further delay, should control their own destiny and decide the future of the NFL together through negotiation.’€

Read More: lockout,

Court rules that NFL lockout will remain in place

05.16.11 at 6:55 pm ET
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The owners won a major battle in the continuing lockout war on Monday, as the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the lockout should remain in place until a full appeal is heard. The judges ruled 2-1 that the stay should remain, saying the NFL has proven it will “likely will suffer some degree of irreparable harm without a stay.” The next major milestone is likely to come June 3, when a hearing will be held to decide the legality of the lockout. The lockout, which is now approaching its 10th week, is the longest work stoppage in NFL history.

Read More: lockout,
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