New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick confirmed Tuesday morning that Tom Brady was indeed in the house as the team began a three-day minicamp at Gillette Stadium.
“It’s good to have all players here,” Belichick said before the team hit the field for full-squad workouts.
Brady was actually with the team on Monday for a fan experience event.
Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski skipped the voluntary portion of the offseason. Reports indicate Gronkowski is angling for a new contract while Brady, 40, is back for another season with a deal that doesn’t compete with the highest-paid players at his position. NFL Network reported Brady “would like another contract” with the Patriots, who gave Brady $8 million in bonuses and a $14 million base salary for the upcoming season.
The contract rift comes on the heels of reports in the final weeks of the 2017 regular season that the relationship between Belichick and Brady had soured. Both denied the validity of the ESPN report, which claimed the friction led to the Patriots trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and removing Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, from his stadium office and team charter flights.
Belichick attempted again to debunk the idea of contentiousness with the Patriots on Tuesday.
“I’ve always had a good relationship with Tom,” Belichick said.
Brady’s father said last offseason that the family is concerned the Patriots will move on from Brady because of his age. In February, as part of his Facebook docuseries “Tom vs. Time,” there were strong indications Brady is planning to play several more seasons.
“I don’t feel like I’m on the last half,” said Brady during the Feb. 4 episode. “I still feel like I’m on the first half; I still feel like I’m charging ahead. It takes up a lot of my time, but there will come a time when that ends.”
—Field Level Media