Patriots

Tom Brady’s final contract more a curiosity than a controversy

Tom Brady’s final contract more a curiosity than a controversy

With Bill Belichick telling his team “Smell ya later!” on Monday, the Patriots are entering an approximately 30-day stretch of quiet season.

When they get back, a primary piece of business to attend to will be Tom Brady’s contract, which expires in early March.

With ink drying on new deals for Carson Wentz, Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson and the going rate for the league’s best quarterbacks being north of $33 million per year, Brady’s new (and presumably final) deal will be fascinating when it’s finalized.

What year will it expire? We need to order black bunting to encircle the six-state region ASAP.

And will Brady be paid commensurate with great quarterbacks like Wilson, Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers, who’ve accomplished a fraction of what Brady has?

Brady’s never played a regular season game in the “walk year” of a deal. The closest he came was in 2010. That year, wrangling that was causing some friction in the spring continued all the way through training camp and to the eve of the season.

A Brady car accident on the Thursday before the opener pushed negotiations over the finish line, Robert Kraft told the New York Times.

It’s not going to get like that this time. Brady adroitly dealt with a flurry of contract questions at minicamp last week, saying, “I don’t think about it too much. I think those things work themselves out."

In late January, Jonathan Kraft indicated a deal could/would/should be done by the start of training camp.

The most revealing statement made by Brady this offseason came when he was on with Jimmy Kimmel. Asked why he isn’t the highest-paid player in the league, Brady said, "That's a good question. That's usually, when I don't want to answer a question, I always say, 'That's a good question.' I think the thing I've always felt for me in my life, winning has been a priority. And my wife [model Gisele Bundchen] makes a lot of money. I'm a little smarter than you think."

The allusion to being smart may have simply meant he married well, but it could also refer to the off-field pursuits he’s got with the growing TB12 empire and a media production company.

Between that, the lack of an obvious successor and a sense in the building that Brady and Bill Belichick are in as good a place in their relationship as they’ve been in some time, there’s really no angst to these proceedings.

Brady beat back the Jimmy G. challenge from 2014 to 2017. During that time he was in a very real fight to prove he deserved to finish his career in New England. Think about it: Brady convinced Belichick to go against the circle-of-life philosophy he’d adhered to his entire career from Kosar to Bledsoe to Mankins and Milloy. And when Belichick relented, he didn’t do so without reservations.

All that’s now passed.

If the Patriots see Jarrett Stidham as his successor, that’s fine but by the time Stidham could conceivably play as well as Brady, Brady will be near the finish line. Maybe Belichick too.

It’s a matter of “when” not “if” with this last deal. And when it does come down, we’ll have a timeline for Brady’s final act.

Click here for Phil Perry's post-minicamp Patriots 53-man roster projection>>>>

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Isaiah Wynn maintains positive outlook on Twitter after foot injury

Isaiah Wynn maintains positive outlook on Twitter after foot injury

If anyone can keep his head up amid continued adversity, it's Isaiah Wynn.

The New England Patriots placed Wynn on injured reserve Tuesday with a foot injury that will sideline him at least eight weeks. It's a tough break for the Patriots' starting left tackle, who also missed his entire rookie year due to a torn Achilles.

But there was Wynn on Wednesday sending out positive vibes on Twitter:

That #WinWithWynnWednesday hashtag is a weekly tradition for the 22-year-old, who posts motivational, uplifting messages on Twitter every Wednesday morning.

But Wynn's latest tweet obviously is much more personal, as the Patriots' 2018 first-round draft pick must begin rehab for the second time in two NFL seasons.

Here's wishing Wynn a speedy recovery. In the meantime, New England's banged-up offensive line will need to turn to new faces like tackle Korey Cunningham -- who assumed Wynn's position at left tackle last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins after Wynn went down -- as well as Marshall Newhouse, Caleb Benenoch and Jermaine Eluemunor.

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Report: Antonio Brown still eligible to play vs. Jets amid civil lawsuit

Report: Antonio Brown still eligible to play vs. Jets amid civil lawsuit

As it stands now, Antonio Brown is on track to play his second game for the New England Patriots on Sunday.

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, the NFL hasn't made any decision on disciplining Brown after meeting with his former trainer, Britney Taylor, on Monday.

Taylor accused Brown of sexual assault and rape in a lawsuit filed last Wednesday, but the wide receiver was allowed to play last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins as the league looks into the lawsuit.

Initial reports suggested the NFL could place Brown on the commissioner's exempt list while investigating Brown, but based on Rapoport's (non-update) update, it appears Brown and the Patriots will be operating as usual unless there are substantial developments involving his lawsuit in the coming days.

Brown tallied four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins on Sunday and could play another significant role against a banged-up New York Jets team in Week 3 if he suits up.

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