Brady is expected to play the 2018 season, Chris Wesseling of NFL.com reports. However, Brady and his representation would like to look into a new contract. "It's not a pressing issue," Mike Garafolo of NFL Network said Wednesday. "It's not anything that is contentious right now." The Patriots kicked off the offseason program earlier this week, but Brady wasn't present for the first time since 2010. The absence added credence to the notion that there may be discord between the quarterback and head coach Bill Belichick, perhaps stemming from Brady's relationship with body coach Alex Guerrero. With a commitment to continue his career, though, Brady may be extending an olive branch as he seeks an upgrade in his contract, which has routinely been below market value. Until he reports to New England, the storyline likely will continue to be at the forefront of the NFL.
Brady has not committed to playing in 2018, but he is expected to do so, ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reports. Brady and Rob Gronkowski's absence from the start of the offseason program is the latest sign of frustration with Bill Belichick's leadership, though it still would be surprising if either superstar decides not to play in 2018. Both players have worked under contracts worth far less than their true value in recent seasons, and it's possible they're hoping for raises before reporting to the team, though Brady probably has other reasons. He hasn't missed part of the offseason program since 2010, and he's never seemed too bothered by making a bit less money than other top quarterbacks. The 40-year-old has openly discussed the idea of playing until he is 45, hoping that his work with body coach Alex Guerrero will lead to rare longevity. The strained relationship between Guerrero and Belichick seems to be part of the problem, but it'll be shocking if that's actually enough to make Brady consider retirement.
Brady is unlikely to be a regular participant in the Patriots' offseason program, Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com reports. Brady is traveling with his family in Qatar as the Patriots begin their offseason workout program Monday. He similarly missed part of the program in 2008, 2009 and 2010, back when he spent much of his offseasons in the Los Angeles area, per Christopher Gasper of The Boston Globe. Brady's absence likely will add fuel to the rumors of discord between him and Bill Belichick, though the 40-year-old quarterback figures to join his teammates at some point in April or May. The Patriots lost left tackle Nate Solder (Giants), swing tackle Cameron Fleming (Cowboys), running back Dion Lewis (Titans) and wideouts Brandin Cooks (Rams) and Danny Amendola (Dolphins) during the offseason, while Rob Gronkowski -- who also is absent Monday -- still hasn't confirmed that he'll play another year. On the other hand, the Patriots signed Jordan Matthews (knee, ankle) and expect to get wideouts Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell back from knee injuries that wiped out their entire 2017 campaigns, plus they're armed with four of the first 63 selections in the upcoming draft. Brady should still have an above-average supporting cast whenever he shows up in New England.
Brady said Wednesday that he isn't upset with the Patriots' decision to trade Brandin Cooks to the Rams, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. With Cooks headed to Los Angeles and Danny Amendola in Miami, the Patriots have lost two of their top three receivers from last season, not to mention long-time starting left tackle Nate Solder (Giants). The team still has a downfield threat in Chris Hogan, while Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell are on track to return from knee injuries after missing all of 2017. There's also some potential further down the depth chart with Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson and Kenny Britt, though none of the bunch has ever lived up to their first-round draft statuses. Brady likely is counting on getting more help in the upcoming draft, where New England now owns four of the first 63 selections. It helps that the team has plenty of pass-catching talent at other positions, with Rob Gronkowski, James White and Rex Burkhead all coming off seasons in which they caught more than 65 percent of their targets. When all is said and done, Brady may miss Solder more than he misses Cooks or Amendola.
Brady completed 28 of 48 passes for 505 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions during the Patriots' 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII on Sunday. He also rushed once for six yards and had a key fumble on a strip-sack with 2:09 remaining. Brady shattered the Super Bowl passing yardage record he'd established in last year's comeback win over the Falcons, as he was forced to play from behind for a substantial portion of Sunday's contest. The 2017 MVP connected with three pass catchers -- Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola -- for more than 100 yards apiece. He also hit Gronkowski for a pair of scores and Hogan for another, but his one turnover was enough to overshadow an otherwise spectacular performance. Brady couldn't hang on to the ball after being hit by the Eagles' Brandon Graham at the Patriots' 26-yard-line with 2:09 remaining and New England down 38-33, leading to a fumble recovery by Derek Barnett at the 28. The miscue eventually resulted in a Jake Elliott 46-yard field goal that gave the Eagles a pivotal eight-point advantage with just 1:05 remaining. The outcome was undecided until Brady's last gasp Hail Mary throw fell incomplete, but ultimately, he suffered his third Super Bowl loss in eight tries. Despite a heartbreaking conclusion, the future Hall of Famer's outstanding regular season included 4,577 yards, 32 touchdowns and just eight interceptions, validating the theory that he's showing no signs of decline despite heading into his age-41 season in 2018.
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