The NFL’s “Negotiations Across America” tour is coming to Boston.



During a regular NFL offseason, the time between the start of June and end of July is usually full of announcements about rookies signing their first contracts. But with the lockout, that — like everything else in the league — has been put on hold.



The Patriots spent a lot of time this week congratulating the Bruins for their Stanley Cup championship. First, there was an outpouring from the players on Twitter. Then, the Kraft family took out ads in area newspapers celebrating the success of the Bruins. Now, Patriots coach Bill Belichick has chimed in.

FOXBORO — Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi expressed optimism on Tuesday afternoon about the NFL labor situation. Speaking at his fourth annual SBLI Youth Football Clinic at Gillette Stadium, Bruschi sounded a positive note when asked if the players and owners could reach an agreement sooner rather than later.

"I'm getting optimistic, and so are some of the guys. Having talked to them and they're hearing the same things — looks like a few weeks maybe," he said.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is saddened over the recent news that his longtime mentor Tom Martinez, after fighting a kidney condition for the last several years, is in poor health and has been given a short time to live. Brady told Peter King of SI.com that when it comes to Martinez, “There is no one who knows more about throwing the football than Tom. And no one has meant more to me when it comes to throwing the football than Tom.

Two Patriots players highlighted this week's edition of the NFL Network's "Top 100" series, a players-only poll on who's the best in the game. Offensive lineman Logan Mankins was slotted at No. 39, while defensive lineman Vince Wilfork was at No. 35.

Mankins was presented by coach Bill Belichick, who said New England's first-round pick in 2005 was the Patriots “most durable and consistent performer on the offensive line for several years.”

To borrow a phrase from the great Ed Rooney (a beautiful man -- and a happy 25th anniversary to Ferris Bueller's Day Off), "I don't trust Plaxico Burress any further than I can throw him." 

Arrests? Sure.



KIRK MINIHANE

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Tom Brady’s longtime quarterback guru Tom Martinez reportedly has been “a week to a month” to live, according to a statement from the Martinez family that was posted on Facebook. (Martinez has struggled with complications brought about by diabetes for a number of years.) The statement, from Martinez’s daughter Linda Martinez Haley, reads as follows:

Forner Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest spent some time working out with the Detriot Lions recently and dropped some hints about a possible comeback, but the 39-year-old said there was only one he would return to the game. In a statement issued via his publicist on Saturday, McGinest spelled everything out.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft sounded an optimistic note on Thursday afternoon regarding recent talks between the players and owners, but added that there’s still “a lot left to solve” when it comes to ending the lockout.