Brady is entering the final year of his contract but has been unable to procure an extension after a year of negotiations. The general belief is that Brady won't stage a holdout when the Patriots open training camp next week, but Mortensen feels a frostiness in the air.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, and this is based on what current players [and] former players who know Tom or have spoken to him, and had some communication with him," Mortensen said, "they say his unhappiness is real, that it's above a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.
"He's going to make $6.5 million this year. Robert Kraft, the owner, has alluded to the uncertain labor situation. Just as you see with the Broncos and Elvis Dumervil, if you want to get a deal done, you can get a deal done. [The Patriots] did one with Vince Wilfork.
"I think on principle, Brady is disappointed that they haven't stepped up and done the right thing. We'll see if something gets done. There has been a lot of speculation about whether he'd miss a day of training camp just to make a statement. I don't see that happening. Tom is too competitive. He's very professional. But the relationship has definitely chilled, and I think it has chilled on a business level and on a personal level."
Mortensen predicted Brady would not make a spectacle of the situation by speaking out against the club.
“I know from speaking to enough people that he’s unhappy and the Patriots know he’s not all that happy." Mortensen said. "Ultimately, he'll show up and play, but I do believe he expects them to show up and do the right thing at some point.
"The right thing, to me, would put him in the $20 million per year range, which I think Peyton Manning is going to eventually get.”
Thanks to ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss for transcribing the interview.