Robert Kraft spent about an hour with the eight Boston-area reporters who have made the trip here to Orlando for the annual NFL meeting, and among the topics he touched on was the contract status of The Franchise, aka Tom Brady.
Brady’s contract ends after the coming season, and Kraft was asked whether the team and the quarterback will sit down to start hammering out an extension, he quickly said “yes.”
Asked further whether that would happen before the start of regular season, Kraft, in one of his ubiquitous white-collared shirts (the rest of the shirt was a spring-like blue and pink plaid), paused for a moment.
Let’s put it like this: Tom Brady is going to be part of
this franchise. He wants to be, we want him…you know, great things in life
happen if you’re flexible and not rigid. We have to find a way to satisfy him
and the team and have a team that can win – big time. That’s what it’s about. We’re bound to a lot of different factors in an unknown environment. So, we’re
not sleeping…it’s just complicated. And it’s complicated for everyone. So we hope
we do a satisfactory job. We’ll figure it out, one way or another,” Kraft said.
Bottom line: Brady isn’t going anywhere, not if Kraft has anything to say about it, and we’re thinking he does.
As to Brady’s current absence from the Patriots’ offseason workout program, Kraft was candid, but knows that his quarterback’s life is vastly different than it was four or five years ago.
“If you’re asking me would I prefer that he be here the
whole offseason, yes. You know, to me, he’s the most unique, special
leader and player in the NFL…(The workouts are) voluntary, he’s
got a family. Look at your lives – you’ve all changed. So it’s priorities. There’s
no doubt in my mind he’s working out hard. Would we be better as a team if he
was in Foxborough every day between now and the start of training camp? Absolutely.
Would that work for him? I don’t know. I think he’s balancing a lot of things. I
hope he spends as much time as he can in Foxborough, and I believe he will.”
Kraft indicated that Brady will be at the Gillette Stadium facilities as early as this week, saying “I wouldn’t be surprised if before these meetings are over he wasn’t at the offseason workouts.”