Patriots

Ted Johnson describes experience of negotiating contract with Bill Belichick

Ted Johnson describes experience of negotiating contract with Bill Belichick

To no one's surprise, negotiating contracts with Bill Belichick isn't the most pleasant experience.

Former New England Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson spent his entire NFL career in Foxboro, but he did have to go through the negotiating process with his longtime head coach.

Thursday on Arbella Early Edition, Johnson explained how contract discussions with Belichick went from his side of the negotiation table.

When I first was being coached by Bill and had my first kind of issue with my contract, Bill reached out to me personally which usually does not happen. I was like, 'Woah, okay, I have an agent.' He was like, 'Yeah I was going to call him.' He wanted to gauge my interest and see how I reacted by him calling me.

Bill will nickel and dime. There was a year that I had -- I played 15 percent of the plays the year before, and he came to ask me for a pay cut. He said, 'Well Ted, you only played 15 percent of the plays.' 'Yeah, Bill, did you know I broke my foot in Week 1 so I missed the next 10 games?' He doesn't care about that stuff. So it is hardball, he doesn't care, he will use the stats against you, and won't factor in all the things that went into those poor stats.

He's not going to blow you away with an offer. He's going to make you sweat it out and make you think, 'Do I really want to leave what I'm comfortable with, or stay here and take less than what other people would offer?'

The Patriots have several players set to hit the free agent market, including quarterback Tom Brady.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Johnson says as a player, it's difficult to take emotion out of the equation during contract negotiations. But for Belichick, it's simply business as usual. Even when it involves a player of Brady's stature.

I got emotional. I got emotional and it probably affected our relationship to some degree for a little bit. Pride got in the way.

And that may be the case here with Tom [Brady] where pride can get in the way. And so with Bill, he's an emotionless machine, man. That was the kind of feeling I got from him that he takes emotion out of it and that's why he's as good as he is. 

Brady will officially become a free agent on March 18 if he and the Patriots cannot come to an agreement on a contract extension before then. Knowing how Belichick operates, either he or Brady likely will have to put pride aside if the six-time Super Bowl champion is to finish his career in New England.

Report: Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola to re-sign with Lions

Report: Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola to re-sign with Lions

Scratch that Danny Amendola-Patriots reunion.

Peter Schrager of the NFL Network reports the free-agent wide receiver is re-signing with the Detroit Lions, where he spent last season and had 62 catches for 678 yards. Former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will enter his third season as Lions coach in 2020. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

The 34-year-old left the Patriots after five seasons to sign with the Miami Dolphins in 2018 and may have burned a bridge or two with Bill Belichick. 

It had been speculated that perhaps bringing in a former reliable Tom Brady receiver might be part of a plan to lure Brady back to New England, with a report in late January that Amendola could come along to wherever Brady lands in free agency, but a Brady-Amendola reunion in Detroit isn't happening, either. 

Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

next_pats_podcast.png
NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

There's one big question that New England Patriots are facing this offseason. Who is going to be their starting quarterback in 2020?

For the past 20 seasons, the team hasn't really had questions at the position. It has always been Tom Brady's job. But with the 42-year-old set to hit free agency, the Patriots can't necessarily count on him returning unless they want to pay him what he's worth.

So, now the question for the Patriots becomes, what will life look like if Brady departs?

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

On the latest episode of The Next Pats Podcast, which returns for its first episode of the 2020 offseason, Phil Perry is here to explore that question. And really what it all boils down to is what the Patriots are looking for in a potential successor.

Click here to listen and subscribe to Phil Perry's Next Pats Podcast:

As Perry notes, it's likely to be one of two types of quarterback: The traditional pocket passer or a more mobile athlete in the mold of some of the recent success stories at the position.

Do the Patriots look for the next Brady? Uber-accurate, somebody who's going to sit in the pocket and absolutely dissect every little aspect of the defense that he is looking at. Or, do they go a different route? Do they go with an athlete? Do they get more mobile? Because talking to people this offseason, I'm getting a whiff -- I'm getting a scent that people believe the pocket passer might be dead.

Perry is joined by guests including Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo, Greg Cosell of ESPN and NFL Films, and NFL Network's Kurt Warner to answer questions about Brady's future and what his game has looked like in recent seasons.

For more thoughts about the Patriots offseason, check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast, available as part of the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network.