Sports Illustrated's Peter King joined the Dale & Holley show Friday to discuss Tom Brady's contract and other NFL news. King said the Patriots deserve praise for getting the Brady deal out of the way before the start of the season. "Whatever the feelings were on the part of Robert Kraft or on the part of Tom Brady, I give them credit, both of them, for not allowing this to be any sort of festering boil."
King said he doesn't expect any of the other Patriots, even the ones pushing for new contracts (Logan Mankins, Randy Moss) to have any jealousy about Brady's deal. "Tom Brady has been beyond a good soldier," King said. "He has not ever raised a stink and said, 'I'm underpaid.' He's always said, 'Hey, listen, I just want to build the best team we can.' I think sometimes in life, the non-squeaky wheel gets the grease. This is one of those times. … I don't think anybody looks at that contract and says Brady was greedy. For once in his life, really, Brady looked out for himself with this deal. I think over time it will be a good deal for both sides."
Asked what he thinks the Mankins situation will be a month from now, King said: "I think we're going to be saying he followed through on his threat, and he's not playing. Whatever you think, whether you think it's a mistake or whatever, he seems like a guy who feels like he's been wronged by the Patriots. … I'm reading the tea leaves, and it looks as though like this is going to be a long holdout."
King said his clear top three teams in the NFL are the Steelers, Saints and Packers, with the Panthers and Colts a notch below. He has a number of concerns about the Patriots. "I don't know about their running game," King said. "Can Fred Taylor stay healthy? Because I think he's the best running back they have. Is Brady going to have enough time behind some different guys on the offensive line? Is he going to have the weapons? They just, in my opinion, have not focused enough right now on the receiver position in the offseason, but obviously they did focus on the tight end. I would be very, very excited if I were them about the tight end position.
"On defense, there's a lot of good, young, exciting players. But as I wrote the other day in Monday Morning Quarterback, I think it's eight guys in their secondary that they kept or maybe nine, and they're all 26 or younger. That can be an advantage if they're all good. But they're going to start two corners evidently against Carson Palmer and some veteran, smart receivers with a lot of guile, [and the Patriots starters] are a second-year player and a rookie, respectively. I just think they have a lot of questions that I don't know the answers to right now."
Talking about HBO's "Hard Knocks" documentary, King said: "Teams that want to do that kind of thing always have a reason for it. I think the New York Jets wanted to see their profile raised and didn't mind being the big guys on the block." On whether opposing teams will be more motivated to beat the Jets, King said. "Do people think they want to knock their blocks off? Absolutely. But I don't think necessarily that [opposing] guys play better because they're mad at Rex Ryan or because they think he's a horse's behind."
Added King: "You are not seeing anything — and I mean anything — that is not the real Rex Ryan. This is who he is. I think there are a lot of guys who are like that in real life but don't want people to see it. Rex doesn't care."
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