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Patriots notebook

Brady quiet on contract

No addressing any ‘disconnect’

Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss speaks with the media — briefly — at yesterdays organized team activities. Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss speaks with the media — briefly — at yesterdays organized team activities. (John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / June 3, 2010

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FOXBOROUGH — Patriots owner Robert Kraft has assured on several occasions this year that Tom Brady will be a member of the team for years to come. But according to a report yesterday on Yahoo! Sports, there has not been much in the way of substantive talks between the Patriots and Brady’s representatives on a contract extension.

NFL columnist Michael Silver wrote that “there’s a growing sense of disconnect between the two camps.’’ Brady declined to comment on the situation with Silver, saying he is uncomfortable discussing the subject.

The coming season marks the final year of the six-year, $60 million contract Brady signed before the 2005 season; he has never begun a “contract year’’ without a new deal in place.

Brady was on the field yesterday with nearly all of his teammates participating in organized team activities, and showed some fire as he directed receivers on the proper way to run a route and offered encouragement when it was done correctly or a receiver made a difficult catch.

The quarterback declined to speak with reporters after the session, and agent Don Yee did not return a call from the Globe.

According to Silver, some close to Brady believe the organization isn’t showing much urgency toward getting a deal done, while the New England brass would like a sign from Brady that he will spend more time in the Foxborough area in coming offseasons.

Brady, who turns 33 in August, has spent much of the time since the season ended in January visiting his older son and overseeing construction of a home for his family in California, as well as traveling the globe.

Since becoming a father in August 2007, Brady, who once coveted the parking spots given to the team’s offseason workout warriors, has shifted his focus to spending time with Jack, his son from a previous relationship (he and his wife have a six-month old son, Benjamin). A string of current and former teammates have expressed confidence that Brady is working out diligently, saying he is the last player they would worry about slacking off.

Kraft told the Globe last week the Patriots “are very lucky to have him as our quarterback and we want him to be our quarterback for a long time into the future. Everything he represents is pretty special. He’s a winner. We’re privileged to have him a part of the New England Patriots organization.’’

However, one of the major stumbling blocks in getting a deal done is likely the 30 percent rule — by NFL rules, a player’s salary cannot rise by more than 30 percent from one season to the next. Brady’s base salary this season is just $3.4 million (his deal was heavily front-loaded, and he restructured his contract to get Randy Moss here in ’07, taking a lump-sum bonus payment), meaning his base for 2011 can’t be more than $4.55 million.

Negotiating a contract that pays Brady commensurate with his status as one of the game’s premier quarterbacks will take a lot of creativity — but if the sides aren’t talking, that can’t happen.

Three and out
Moss, who recently parted ways with his longtime agent — Tim DiPiero — and apparently has designs on becoming a commercial pitchman, granted the media a three-question Q-and-A session yesterday.

Here is the entire 61-second exchange:

His impressions of the team thus far this offseason — “Well, everything is good. It’s a fresh start, it’s a new year, um, and everybody come in very enthusiastic and ready to get this thing going. So only thing I can say man, is I’m ready to come to work.’’

His impressions of the veteran wideouts the team has brought aboard, Torry Holt and David Patten — “I like everything — I love all the additions. The younger guys look good, the older veterans look good. Like I say, I think that Bill [Belichick] has really emphasized that this is a new year so going to get back to basics and do things the right way so I’m very excited about this season, not just for me but just for the whole team just to see how far we can go.’’

On Wes Welker being on the practice field less than four months after knee surgery — “Very impressive to me. I’m a big fan of Welker’s, way before he came here, back when he was in Miami, so I can’t wait to have him back on the field, whenever that day comes, so sky’s the limit so we’ll see what happens.’’

As he began to walk away, a reporter asked if the sky was the limit for him, as well. Over his shoulder, Moss said, “You better believe it.’’

Missing from action
Missing yesterday were Ty Warren, Logan Mankins, Taylor Price, and Kade Weston. Mankins technically isn’t under contract, and under league rules Price can’t participate until Ohio University’s classes end June 10. Warren has been tending to his academics as well, at Texas A&M. There was no word on Weston’s whereabouts . . . With Mankins not in attendance, Nick Kaczur lined up at left guard with the other starters, which included Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle . . . Rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez spent a lot of time working with Brady and the other potential offensive starters . . . Without a true fullback on the roster, linebacker Thomas Williams took some reps at the position . . . Running back Fred Taylor struggled to catch the ball, with at least four passes either going off his hands or between them. He expressed frustration about the misses after the session . . . Rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes was calling plays when he was on the field for seven-on-seven work . . . Defensive back Bret Lockett intercepted a Brian Hoyer pass intended for Darnell Jenkins, a practice-squad receiver last year.

Shalise Manza Young can be reached at syoung@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shalisemyoung.

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