FOXBORO -- I absolutely, positively understood the basis of the question posed at Bill Belichick's Wednesday press conference. The aim was trying to get Belichick to wax eloquent about Tom Brady's performance so far this season.
When it went off the rails was when Barbara Barker, a reporter from New York's Newsday, described Brady as "just about everybody's midseason MVP."
Invoking mythical awards handed out by writers, bloggers and broadcasters? That's stomping on a press conference landmine.
Belichick's face scrunched.
"That's great," he began. "But honestly I don't think anybody is really focused on that. We're focused on the Giants. And some midseason report card, who cares? What difference does it make? Give me an F. Give me a C+. Right now we're focused on the Giants. That's all I really care about."
Barker soldiered on, though, asking what grade Belichick would give Brady.
"I don't give grades," he said. "I'm worried about the Giants. We're trying to beat the Giants. I don't really care about some midseason midterm grades. Give me whatever you want."
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's potential retirement has been the main storyline of the team's offseason workouts. After telling Oprah Winfrey in an interview that he is thinkning about retirement more than he used to, the five-time Super Bowl champion wrote a cryptic response to an ESPN Instagram post.
The photo contained the full retirement quote from the Oprah interview, while Brady's account sent a response saying, "Cuarenta y cinco," which means 45 in Spanish. Brady turns 41 on August 3rd, which would give him at least four more years under center for New England if he wants to play to 45 years old.
There is also the chance that the response alludes to a potential contract extension where Brady could want $45 million in potential negotiations. Brady reportedly wanted a new contract back in April, as he is signed through 2019 making a $14 million base salary that ranks fifth among NFL quarterbacks.
According to MMQB's Albert Breer on Monday, the New England Patriots reportedly talked to four "trusted" teams about a potential trade for the two-time Super Bowl champion pass catcher.
The reported teams were the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers. The Lions are led by former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their head coach. New England's former director of pro scouting, Bob Quinn, is Detroit's general manager. Mike Vrabel, the head coach of the Titans, won three Super Bowls in New England as a linebacker and former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is the head coach in Houston. San Francisco was New England's trade partner in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade last season.
Gronkowski did not commit to returning to the Patriots until a few days before the draft, and also missed most of the team's voluntary offseason workouts. The Patriots and the tight end are reportedly working on a contract extension.