Patriots owner Robert Kraft and quarterback Tom Brady generally kept quiet about their contract negotiations, right up until the news broke Thursday night that Brady had agreed to a new deal.
But today Kraft and Brady both released statements expressing their gratitude to each other and saying they’re looking forward to focusing on the 2010 season.
“We have been very fortunate to have Tom Brady as the quarterback of the New England Patriots for the past decade,” Kraft said. “I am glad that this contract extension will allow his tenure to continue well into the next decade. Tom has been a terrific representative for the Patriots and a great leader for this franchise. Since he first arrived, no player has worked harder and been more driven to succeed than Tom. His core values have kept him grounded, despite his many successes, and he remains a consummate professional, both on and off the field. It is much easier to reward a player for his professional accomplishments when you have such respect for him personally and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Tom and for everything he has accomplished in his life. There is no one that I would rather have leading this team and I am happy to reward him with this contract extension.”
Brady said he didn’t want to discuss his contract at all, but he does want to keep playing for the Patriots for years to come.
“I have never been comfortable talking about my contract and certainly didn’t want discussions of my contract negotiations to serve as a distraction to any of my teammates as we have been preparing for the Cincinnati Bengals and the start of the 2010 season,” Brady said. “However, I do want to express my appreciation to Mr. Kraft and Jonathan Kraft for extending my opportunity to play for the New England Patriots. I am grateful for all that the Kraft family has done for me, both personally and professionally, and for all they have done for my family. Not only have I had the good fortune of playing for just one franchise, I have also played for the greatest head coach and with some of the best teammates a player could ever ask for. My teammates, both past and present, are the main reason why we have accomplished so much over the years. I love playing in New England and appreciate all the support that our fans give us. I look forward to tomorrow’s game and the start of another exciting season.”
Signing his new contract allows Brady not only to focus all his attention on this season, but also to plan to be in New England for four more seasons after this one.