ESPNBoston.comâ€™s Tim Graham reported on Monday that there may be trouble on the horizon with justÂ a little over a week to go until training camp begins, and he feelsÂ it could involve quarterback Tom Brady holding out when the team comes together at Gillette Stadium next week.
In Graham’s report, according to ESPN’s John Clayton, the preliminary talks havenâ€™t gone well.
â€śTheyâ€™re nowhere close,â€ť Clayton said, â€śand Tom has made it clear to management that he doesnâ€™t want to give any sacrifices. He wants top dollar, and heâ€™s earned top dollar.â€ť
|Will New England QB Brady be in Foxboro next week? (PHOTO: Icon/SMI)|
An interesting note started last week when Vince WilforkÂ spokeÂ with â€śToucher & Richâ€ť show on 98.5 regarding his â€śHelp Vinceâ€ť scavenger hunt event that heâ€™s put together.Â Â A coupleÂ of his comments during that interviewÂ raised an eyebrow among Patriots fans who initially may have thought nothing of it, butÂ now after Graham’s reportÂ may have a reason to be concerned.Â
When asked about whether heâ€™d be surprised if Brady didnâ€™t show up, Wilfork didnâ€™t just come right out and say he expected him to be there.
“I try not to pay (attention) to anyone elseâ€™s business because everyone handles their business in different ways,” said Wilfork.Â Â ”Me personally, I know Tom personally, and heâ€™s a great guy. Heâ€™s all about football. He loves his teammates . . . at the same time itâ€™s a business. When business plays a part in it, of course youâ€™re going to have some areas where people are going to do different things. Only Tom knows what heâ€™s going to do. I really canâ€™t comment on if heâ€™s coming or not coming.”
When asked if he’d be surprised if Brady didn’t show up, Wilfork replied, “Like I said, business is businesss. Knowing Tom, heâ€™s going to do whatâ€™s best for himself, and heâ€™s going to keep the team in mind. Iâ€™m going to leave it at that. I canâ€™t say what heâ€™s going to do, or what heâ€™s not going to do. Iâ€™m going to be there.”
The other part of the equation is the fact thatÂ St. Louis Rams QB and No. 1 draft choice Sam Bradford,Â has yet to reach a deal, althoughÂ Â Adam Schefter of ESPN reports thatÂ negotiations are underway.Â According to Schefter Â Bradford is reportedly looking for guaranteed money in the range of $45 to $50 million.Â CSN New England’s Tom CurranÂ pointed out last week thatÂ Bradford will likely be looking for a deal larger than the six-year one signed last summer by Matthew Stafford, who got $41.7 million guaranteed.
How that will factor into the negotiations remains to be seen, but it’s expected to play a part in not only Brady’s negotiations, but also in Colts QB Peyton Manning’s as well.
Needless to say things aren’t looking good so far.Â Considering practice more or less revolves around the quarterback, a holdout by Brady wouldÂ certainly be a setback for everyone on the offensive side of the football.Â It would also create a lot of uncertainty on a team where Brady is well respected by everyone in that locker room.Â Â After all, there are probably some guys who are already upset about what’s going on with disgruntled guard Logan Mankins,Â seeing their offensive and locker room leader holdout definitely wouldn’t help.
As Wilfork said, he expects Brady to “keep the team in mind”, although he still also has to do what’s “best for himself”.
Hopefully that means we’ll see him in practice next week.