Patriots QB Tom Brady, “The Franchise,” was interviewed this morning on the Dennis and Callahan Show on WEEI Sports Radio on everything ranging from his contract, his relationship with the Krafts, and his new hair cut (or lack thereof). Despite the constant prodding all offseason, Brady never really said too much about his contract situation — until now. While no details about a deal or a potential deal were given, his attitude towards the situation as a whole was revealed. What Tom Brady showed in his interview is the reason why Patriots fans love him and why a deal will get done. He is not a greedy player and he sees the big picture that the team as a whole needs to get paid, going as far as to mention Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork (who got paid already this offseason), and Wes Welker (who he feels is underpaid). Surely he will get a hefty, hefty sum when the deal is done. However, you get the sense that he will not take the team to the cleaners or have to be the highest paid player in the league, a la Peyton Manning. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
A Patriot for life? “I’d love to be here my whole career. I have goals and the team has goals and hopefully they’re down the same line.”
Care to be the highest paid player in the NFL? “I know what he’s gonna make, he’s gonna make a lot and he deserves it. He’s one of best to ever play. You know, honestly, it’s not about that. When it’s all said and done, I’m not gonna sit and worry about who made more money. All these other quarterbacks in the league and what they make, I don’t care what they get. Whatever works for me and the team, that’s what it’ll be. I don’t really care who makes more.”
Staying firm on contract demands? “The thing is, no matter what I want, it doesn’t matter. I could say this is exactly what I want. I’m not gonna be really attached to that, because it’s not up to me. There are a lot of people involved. Every player on the team wants a contract, and to be fairly compensated.”
Concerned about playing without a new contract? “(No) That’s how my dad would want me to handle it, and that’s how he taught me to handle it. Show up and play and do what you said you’re gonna do and that’s what I’m doing. That’s where my mind’s at. I just want to have a great season. I want to be the leader the team expects me to be. I want to play at a level that I expect myself to play at.
What about golfing with owner Robert Kraft, you’re relationship in general with the Krafts? “He (Robert Kraft) and I haven’t had many chances to talk over the last six or seventh months. He asked me to come down and play (golf), and I wasn’t doing much, my wife was out of town. I haven’t had a chance to play much, so I decided to take him up on it… We’ve been through a lot. It’s been a great relationship since I’ve been, with myself and the team and the organization and I don’t want anything to ever get in the way of that. You gotta be able to separate what the good part of a relationship is, and then obviously the parts of the relationship that you’d rather not deal with. You have to deal with them. … Mr. Kraft and Jonathan and the family, they’ve done everything they could to make this organization the best one in the league. The way that they treat us, with our stadium, with our practice facility, with the way they handle our travel and our food, we’re so well taken care. It’s a great place to play and obviously I hope I’m here for a long time. So we’ll see how that goes.”
So there ya go. Despite some cautiousness in his words, I don’t get any sense of tension between Brady and the team, or the sense that he doesn’t want to play in New England anymore. Everything from both sides of these negotiations has indicated that Brady will remain a Patriot for the foreseeable future, and that’s exactly how the fans across New England want it.