Patriots offer peace of mind


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The NFL gets back to work this week, with plenty of teams coming off vacation today and the first full-scale camp-opening happening Friday in Cleveland.

Yes, it’s almost here.

But as much as today will be a return to business-as-usual for pro football types, it’s reminder that what the future holds is anything but. With a lockout looming in 2011, the real victims are a lot of the people caught in-between — The lower-level coaches and scouts and all the non-football team employees that have to worry about sustaining themselves and their families through a potential work stoppages.

So it was nice to read in Dan Pompei’s top-notch debut effort over at the National Football Post that the local team will be taking care of some of its employees. Pompei writes 24 of the NFL’s 32 teams have lockout language in their scouts’ contracts that call for 25-50 percent paycuts in the event of a work stoppage, even though those are the people on the football side that will keep working.

The Patriots, along with the Colts, Saints and Seahawks, are among those that don’t have such provisions in their scouts’ deals, according to Pompei.

That reflects well on the Patriots, and the Kraft family, as well as Jim Irsay in Indy, Tom Benson in New Orleans and Paul Allen in Seattle. And it’s the kind of thing that, down the line, guys will remember when they’re picking where they want to work.

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