The New England Patriots open training camp Thursday, July 29 -- just a little more than three weeks from now. Heading into camp, there is one major issue that the Patriots need to resolve before the season begins. Tom Brady is going into the final year of his contract, and it is important the team shows its commitment to their quarterback -- now.
Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports wrote an interesting article in June about Brady and the Patriots, in which he discusses the tension between the two sides, and their talks toward a new contract. If there is a disconnect between the sides, the responsibility is on the Patriots to get this deal done as soon as possible. He is your future Hall of Fame quarterback. He is the exception to the rule regarding how the Patriots do business. It is time to show Brady the money he deserves.
I have backed the Patriots several times on some of their negotiations with players. I was on their side during the Ty Law contract issues. Recently, I was backing the team during the Vince Wilfork issue. I won't do it this time with Tom Brady. Last time, he took a hometown discount so the Pats would have more money to spend on other players.
Did the Patriots return that commitment to Brady? I don't think so. They went to war with Deion Branch which eventually saw him forcing his way out of Foxboro and to the Seattle Seahawks. I also don't think they made a tremendous attempt to hold on to David Givens. They left Brady in the 2006 season without his two top receivers. Their replacements were Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney. These players did a nice job, but it wasn't good enough.
Now, the Patriots are in discussions for a new deal with Brady, and it is time for the Krafts to make a new commitment.
The Patriots don't win three Super Bowl titles without Brady. Do you really think they win those titles with Drew Bledsoe? Without Brady, the franchise is not worth over $1 billion. Don't you think it is time to do the right thing and make Brady the highest paid player in the league? I understand that it takes both sides to make a deal. However, his current contract is perceived as a hometown discount based on what other players of his caliber were making.
I know that the CBA is a factor, but you have to pay him top dollar anyways. The CBA is no excuse for the Patriots.
You do not want this issue going into the season, which is why the Patriots need to make a deal with Brady now. There might be some tension in the locker room already, but if it goes into the season it could blow up in the Patriots' faces.
I am die-hard fan of the New England Patriots. I want them to be in position every year to contend for a title. So this is my plea to Bob Kraft and the rest of the Patriots front office. Show your commitment to Tom Brady now.