Friday, June 4, 2010
Updated: June 5, 11:32 AM ET
Brady not sweating contract talks
By Mike Reiss
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Quarterback Tom Brady is known for keeping his cool under pressure, an approach that is also extending to the negotiating table.
If Brady is concerned or disappointed about entering the final year of his contract -- with no extension apparently imminent -- he's not showing it.
"Things happen. Some are out of your control," he said Friday night. "You just have to go with the flow."
Brady's remarks, delivered at a charity flag football game for Best Buddies, come following a Yahoo! Sports story Wednesday that cited a "growing disconnect" in contract talks between Brady and the Patriots.
Told that many in the New England region might have gulped hard thinking the sides might be at odds, Brady was asked his take on the situation.
"I really don't want to talk about it a whole lot, because there is nothing anybody can solve other than the team and myself," he responded. "There are a lot of guys in my situation. Really, I just want to focus on what's coming up this week. I'm just excited being back on the field with the guys."
This marks the first time in Brady's 11-year career that he's reached the final year of his contract without an extension. In 2005, he signed a six-year pact worth approximately $60 million. That deal was restructured and slightly sweetened in 2007, mainly to create salary cap space so the Patriots could absorb Randy Moss's salary in a trade.
If Brady is frustrated that a new deal has yet to be struck, he didn't show it Friday night.
"I don't get into ... I really haven't been thinking about it a whole lot," he said. "It's just part of the process. I love being out on the field with the guys, and playing. That's really where my head's at."
At the NFL's annual meeting in March, Patriots owner Robert Kraft expressed confidence that a deal would get done.
"Let's put it like this: Tom Brady is going to be part of this franchise. He wants to be, we want him," Kraft said on March 22.
"Great things happen in life 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."
Kraft also cited the NFL's uncertain labor forecast as a factor in not having a deal.
"We're balancing a lot of different factors in an unknown environment," he said in March. "We're not sleeping. It's just complicated. It's complicated for everyone. We hope we do a satisfactory job, but we'll figure it out one way or another."
Brady is often linked with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning on the field, and now the two are also linked off the field in that they are entering the final year of their deals.
Leading up to the Super Bowl, Colts owner Jim Irsay said: "Those two guys are kind of tied at the hip as outstanding players. Brady's up at the same time and there's no question that those guys are comparable in terms of what they'll be getting paid."
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPN Boston. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.