Monday, August 16, 2010
Tom Brady: Relationship with Kraft good
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady acknowledged Monday that the index and middle fingers on his throwing hand were taped at practice Sunday because he hit them on a helmet during last week's preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints, but said of the injury: "It's nothing."
"It's one of those things that happens," Brady said during an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was similarly unconcerned when asked about the fingers on Sunday morning, joking that the injury was not "life threatening."
Brady, whose contract status has been the talk of training camp, also acknowledged during Monday morning's interview that he played golf last weekend with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
"He and I haven't had many chances to talk over the last six or seven months," Brady said. "He asked me to come down to play, and I wasn't doing much, my wife was out of town. I haven't had a chance to play much golf either, so I figured I'd take him up on it."
Brady, who enters the final year of his contract for the first time, was asked if his relationship with Kraft is as good as it always has been.
"Yeah, of course," he said. "We've been through a lot. It's been a great relationship since I've been here, with myself and the team and the organization. I don't want anything to ever get in the way of that. You have to be able to separate what a good part of a relationship is, and obviously the parts of the relationship you'd rather not deal with. But you have to deal with them."
Brady seemed to be referring to the business side of the game.
He continued the thought, saying: "Whether that's with coach Belichick -- he's my coach. Obviously he has a lot of roles within the organization, but when he's coaching football, he's my coach. That's the level of respect that I have for him. Mr. Kraft, Jonathan [Kraft] and his family, they've done everything they could to make this organization the best one in the league. The way they treat us, with the stadium, with our practice facility, the way they handle our travel and food, we're so well taken care of. It's a great place to play and obviously I hope I'm here for a long time. We'll see how that goes."
As he has done on many occasions, the quarterback reiterated that it would be his preference to finish his career with the Patriots but did not rule out the possibility of ending up with another team.
"I'd love to be here my whole career. I have goals and the team has goals and hopefully they're down the same line," Brady said. "But you never know. Like I said, Joe Montana got traded, and Jerry Rice did, guys I loved watching out there that really were the best players to ever play at their positions. It's hard to think if those guys are not playing for a team, why should I really be excluded from that?"
Brady, of course, is not the only high-profile quarterback entering the final year of his contract. Colts signal-caller Peyton Manning is in the same boat. Brady was asked whether it mattered to him whether he ended up making more money than Manning in his next contract.
"He's going to make a lot, and he deserves it. He's one of the best to ever play," Brady said. "It's not about that. When it's all said and done, I'm not going to worry about who made more money. All these other quarterbacks in the league, I don't care what they get. Whatever I get, whatever works for me and the team, that's what it will be. I don't really care who makes more."
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss was used in this report.