Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft reportedly on same page regarding Tom Brady
There is a wide-ranging belief that Bill Belichick is ready to move on from Tom Brady and may be at odds with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft over how to handle the situation, but that belief is apparently not rooted in reality.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported recently that the Patriots are willing to pay Brady $30 million or more to have him return to the team next season. Some interpreted that to mean Kraft wants to compensate Brady for all he has done for the franchise, but Rapoport said in an interview with WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe Show” on Thursday that Kraft and Belichick are on the same page.
“They want Tom Brady to return. They think they can get him back and they are willing to go where they have not gone before to do it,” Rapoport said. “I don’t believe that Belichick and Kraft are on different pages as far as what they would be willing to pay Tom Brady. I have not heard that. It would be surprising to hear that is true.”
Dollars and cents are only one factor in the Brady negotiations, as he wants the Patriots to come up with a legitimate plan for improving the team’s offense around him. He would probably be willing to take less money (like he has throughout his career) if he can be assured a better supporting cast next season. However, the reported willingness of Kraft and Belichick to pay Brady big money signals that the coach is not anxious to prove he can win with another quarterback, as many have speculated.
While Kraft is ultimately in charge of money, it does not sound like he would force Belichick to keep Brady if the coach wanted to go in a different direction. Belichick and Brady are the two most important people in the negotiations, but Brady seems determined to not tip his hand one way or the other.