Mr. Kraft Says There are No Problems with Brady's Contract

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Ever since that oddly ambiguous speech that Tom Brady gave in the last couple of minutes of Tom vs. Time, where he rhetorically asked why he endures all this punishment and wonders what’s it all for and then Gisele talked about the need to feel appreciated – most debated and polarizing TV ending since LOST – there’s been legit concern about Brady’s future. Not helped much by the fact that, while he’s signed through 2019, two years to go on a contract is exactly when Brady’s agent and the Patriots have sat down and hammered out an extension. But this year? Crickets. Even with him making $15 million each of the next two years with a cap hit of $22 million. This is when we’d normally hear about him taking a pay cut in exchange for future years and give the team more money to spend on talent around him.

As Jeff Howe points out in The Athletic, Brady has signed five career extensions, in 2002, 2005, 2010, 2013 and 2016. And the only one that came with just a year left was 2010, which made sense since in 2009 he was IR’ed with blown knee, making it less than the optimal time to be talking contracts. So the lack of movement on a new deal has been yet another log to toss onto the 2018 Patriots Offseason Dysfunction Bonfire. Fortunately though, Howe got hold of the guy who’s name goes on the front of Brady’s paychecks to clarify:

So what’s the deal now? Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who personally negotiated Brady’s most recent extension, told The Athletic it was fairly straightforward, and they’ll gather at the negotiating table if it becomes necessary.

“He’ll be 41 when the season starts,” Kraft said. “Neither side has an issue with it. If it becomes an issue, we’ll deal with it. …

“I hope he plays,” Kraft said. “He’s at a different point in his life. He talked about it. It’s interesting to see that Tom vs. Time and see where he’s at, his kids growing up. But that is something for he and his family to decide what is right for him. Me personally, I’d like to see him play as long as he can. I don’t think anyone would have believed 10 years ago that he would have played this year, gone to the Super Bowl and been MVP of the league at 40 years old.”

So that settles that. Or something. I guess. I mean, if Mr. Kraft was talking about an extension for say, Malcom Brown I’d read this and say, “Sure. Sounds about right. That’s the approach to take.” But the entire fate of the Patriots’ galaxy has been placed in Future Brady’s hands. This isn’t some term paper you’ve got due at the end of the semester but that’s still months away so you can afford to get drunk on a Monday now and worry about it later. And it’s just unnerving to think that they’d pick this one particular extension, given all the white noise about bad relationships in the organization, to kick the can down the road and preach patience. Especially when his $22 million cap hit is the highest of his career. Still a steal at that price, but the it’s kind of number they’ve always reduced in the past to spend that money elsewhere.

On the other hand, the world’s most successful businessman/negotiator/mogul/philanthropist/surrogate dad says not to worry about it, I suppose you shouldn’t worry about it. So this is the sound of me not worrying. I wish I could convince myself of it. God, they can’t start playing fast enough.