Despite plenty of signs pointing to possible problems between the New England Patriots and their franchise quarterback, Tom Brady, there are now indications that the two sides could be making some progress.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that “there is ongoing dialogue” between the two sides and that an extension of Brady’s contract is now “within reach.” Indeed, Schefter now says that the question isn’t if the two sides will find a way to keep Brady around over the long haul, but when the deal will be finalized.
Schefter also commits a little ESPN-on-ESPN crime, reporting that speculation of a potential Brady holdout, recently pushed by colleagues John Clayton and Chris Mortensen, is off the mark. Schefter also reports that the relationship between Brady and the Pats “is as positive as it has been.”
Though we don’t know whether Brady would hold out, we’ve heard from multiple sources that the relationship is, at a minimum, strained. It is believed that Brady has changed in recent years, possibly due to the Yoko Ono factor, and there’s a concern that he may want to push for a Peyton Manning-style market-max contract. Brady never has cashed in to that same extent, due in large part to the fact that his rookie deal reflected the 199th slot in the draft, not the first overall position.
So even if he won’t hold out, we’re not buying the contention that the relationship “is as positive as it has been.” Unless, of course, it wasn’t as positive in the past as we’d all been led to believe.