Brady answered questions, but will he get a new contract?
Contract issues for the New England Patriots is never a surprise entering training camp. In the past, the Patriots have dealt with players like Ty Law, Deion Branch, and Vince Wilfork who have all entered camp looking for new contracts. Some of those players, like Branch, requested a trade because he did not get his way while others, like Wilfork, played out the season and got the contract they deserved. While there is another situation this year similar to those in the past (Logan Mankins) there is one contract situation that is unlike any the Patriots have seen under the reign of Bill Belichick. The big story entering training camp is once again Tom Brady, but this time, it’s less about the knee and more about whether Tom Brady will be wearing a Patriots jersey next year or not.
Tom Brady is entering the final season of his contract and it is no secret that Brady wants a new deal. He has already expressed dissatisfaction with how the contract negotiations have gone. When training camp started yesterday, all eyes, and more importantly ears, were on Tom Brady as he talked for what seemed like hundreds of reporters about the contract negotiations. Unfortunately, Tom Brady comes from the the Bill Belichick school of speaking to the media which is basically the opposite of wherever Chad Johnson learned to speak to the media. Brady has a filter on everything he says, and if you watched it you could see the filter working. He took time answering every question, trying to avoid saying anything that might make the contract negotiations more of a distraction for the team. Are you ready for the exciting quotes from Tom Brady?
“My personal feelings are my personal feelings, and certainly I don’t want to express them with anybody other than very few people. It doesn’t do any good. It really doesn’t. It doesn’t help this team. It doesn’t help the organization. Really, it gets in the way to me.”
Translation? You guys will have to Chinese Water Torture me to learn anything about what’s going on.
“I’ve always been privileged to play for Coach Belichick, who I’ve always said is the best coach in the history of the league. And Mr. Kraft, I have a great relationship with him. I’m not into playing games. I just really enjoy playing quarterback for this team. I have since the day I stepped on the field.”
Either the reports earlier this year that said the relationship between Brady and Kraft had soured was wrong, or Tom Brady just flat out lied to us. Either way, we learned he likes New England, like we didn’t think that already.
While the comments did not say a lot, however, the comments were said in a way that did say something. Watch the interview again. Listen to the way that Brady speaks. Remember the filter I just mentioned? It was telling that everything was going through the filter. In his voice, you could hear a man that was disappointed with his employer that they weren’t guaranteeing a job. He thought about everything he was going to say before he said it because he didn’t want anything he said to become damning. Despite what he says, how he says it makes it pretty evident that he wants the new contract done and he wants it done soon.
I’m not sure if the Patriots are going to make it happen. We all know how the Patriots operate when it comes to contract situations. Play out the season and go earn the contract, and then we will talk. If they make an exception for Tom Brady, then they will have to make an exception for Logan Mankins, then for Randy Moss, and then for Wes Welker, and then it goes all the way down the ladder until the entire Patriots contract system is blown up.
But maybe the Patriots need to make an exception for Tom Brady. I have faith that Brady will return to New England and finish his career here. He is the heart and soul of the New England Patriots. He is the golden boy, he is the franchise. He is the man who, with Bill Belichick, delivered the Super Bowl to the Patriots faithful after 40 years of waiting. It would be a mistake not to re-sign Brady, but history is almost not on the fans side here. Brady turns 33 on Monday, and it’s very possible that Brady, were he to hit the open market, would get a nice big contract offer from someone who needs a quarterback. As much as we like to think that franchise quarterbacks play a whole career for one team, it usually doesn’t happen that way. Unitas, Montana, hell even Farve now, all of these relationships seem to end ugly. With Brady we may be heading in these directions.
I don’t want this to happen, but unless the Patriots make an exception and get a contract done for Brady, the Patriots may have a new starting quarterback next year.