When Mike Silver secured the first exclusive print interview of Tom Brady in months, he must have thought it was a nice day's work. Never could he have imagined that he had played right into Michael Felger's hands.
You see, for many months, Silver, Felger, and the media-at-large have been endlessly "reporting" on the serious issue that is Tom Brady's contract negotiations, and how there is clearly massive unrest between the team and its star player despite there never being any real evidence to support this.
But according to Felger, when Brady gave that interview to Silver, one of the strongest proponents of the "Brady Contract Problem" story, it was a clear sign that Brady himself was giving the finger to the man, and finally letting it be known to the world that he wasn't happy with his contract, and he wasn't going to take being pushed around by mean Mr. Kraft any more.
Armed with such provocative quotes as:
"I just want to win, man," he said. "I don't want anything to get in the way."
"It's just so hard to win," he says. "It doesn't just happen. As you get older, you realize that, and you try to convince the young guys. You've got to pay the price."
The latter dropped completely without context or, indeed, any suggestion of the question asked, Mike Silver had clearly shot straight to the heart of the situation.
That, or Silver is making a story up almost entirely out of whole cloth based simply on the fact that, yes, the Patriots and Brady are discussing his contract situation. Felger goes on about how because the guy who has been pushing the story so hard got the interview it must therefore be true.
Never mind the fact that, though Silver brings it up often in his article, Brady never once really comments on his contract situation himself. Never mind that, as Chris Price points out, Brady has appeared on WEEI a few times in the same period and, as a California boy, has connections to Silver that might lead to an interview. This is a clear cut sign of Brady supporting Silver's earlier stories! Because Brady spoke to Silver today, clearly Silver's earlier story was based on...um...this future conversation? Wait, what?
It's not more telling that Brady talked to Silver than it is that Silver didn't talk to Brady about his contract. The one time "the guy who started this whole brouhaha two months ago" gets a chance to sit down with Tom Brady, the most inflamatorry quote he can get regarding the contract situation is "It could come together really soon. Or it might not happen at all [before the season]. It's really tough to know." And that not even from Brady himself, but a source close to the negotiations?
Maybe Brady does have a problem with his contract and the organization. Maybe he doesn't. But there hasn't been really one good piece of evidence shown in favor of the former, and this interview certainly doesn't constitute one just by virtue of its existence. If Silver had actually broached the subject with Brady instead of throwing it in as exposition, perhaps. But all we've got here is a piece on the Patriots and how they're always confident about every game of every year. No conspiracy, no contract problems, no nothing.