BOSTON (CBS) — Save for one unique exception, Tom Brady has always signed a contract extension two years before his existing deal expired. It’s led to a long and healthy relationship between Brady and the Patriots, one that is currently contracted to approach two full decades.
But as it stands now, Brady’s contract runs through 2019, and there’s been no word of any talks of an extension this offseason. Instead, there’s been an avalanche of reports about unrest and resentment growing between Bill Belichick and Brady, among others. It’s been enough to wonder if things might not be so great between the most important player in franchise history and the most important coach in franchise history.
Team owner Robert Kraft, though, nonchalantly dismissed any room for panic when speaking to Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
“He’ll be 41 when the season starts,” Kraft told Howe, per Pro Football Talk. “Neither side has an issue with it. If it becomes an issue, we’ll deal with it.”
The one time Brady didn’t sign a contract extension a year early, as Howe noted in his story, came in 2009, when Brady was coming off a major knee injury that cost him his 2008 season. He eventually signed a new deal in September 2010, just before the final year of his existing contract was set to begin.
As for how long Brady intends to play, Kraft admitted that watching “Tom Vs. Time” and seeing the quarterback slightly waiver on his dedication to play for five more years was “interesting.” But just as he did when speaking to the media at the owners meetings recently, Kraft seemed to harp on the positives of what Brady’s already accomplished.
“Me personally, I’d like to see him play as long as he can. I don’t think anyone would have believed 10 years ago that he would have played this year, gone to the Super Bowl and been MVP of the league at 40 years old. It’s just unbelievable,” Kraft told Howe, again per PFT. “It speaks to the way he takes care of himself, the way he trains, how much film he watches, one of the hardest working guys. He is driven to excel. I think as long as he feels he is like that, he’ll keep playing. We’re so lucky to have him in our system.”