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Sunday 7: Tom Brady bringing up Robert Kraft in comments about Malcolm Butler’s Super Bowl LII benching was interesting

Ryan Hannable
May 06, 2018 - 6:00 am

1. Last Monday, Tom Brady spoke for nearly an hour at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Santa Monica, California with Jim Gray moderating and the quarterback went in-depth on a number of topics surrounding the Patriots this offseason. It seemed nearly every word Brady said was dissected over the course of the week, but maybe one subject that wasn’t talked about as much as it should have was Brady bringing up Robert Kraft when it came to Malcolm Butler’s benching in the Super Bowl. Gray asked Brady if he thought the fans deserved an explanation as to why Butler didn't play from Bill Belichick. “Well, I don’t know,” Brady said. “That’s probably a better question for the guy who owns our team. I think, for me, you don’t make all the decisions. I can control what I can control. So much of what it’s been over the years has been, ‘How do I maximize what I can do?’ I can’t run, I can’t catch, I can’t block, I can’t tackle. I can do my job, and I’m going to do it the best way I can. I’ve got to trust everyone else to do the same thing.” While it seems like a nothing comment, it was interesting he brought Kraft into the conversation. Did Brady want Kraft to order Belichick to give an explanation because Brady claims even he hasn’t received one? Is Brady mad Belichick hasn’t explained himself on the decision and he’s putting that on Kraft? It just was interesting because Brady didn’t really need to bring Kraft into the equation. While Brady wasn’t exactly throwing Kraft under the bus, it just was interesting he brought him up as it suggests the two aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on the matter, which is a rare occurrence.

2. Many assumed the Patriots would pick up the fifth-year option on Malcom Brown since he’s been pretty dominant since being drafted in the first round in the 2015 draft, but it’s pretty clear why they didn’t. If they did, it would have cost the Patriots $7.154 million in 2019, which is a lot for a Patriots defensive tackle. While just over $7 million may be reasonable for a defensive tackle who can get after the quarterback and pick up some sacks, it’s not reasonable for a predominantly run-stopping defensive tackle, which is what Brown is. It would seem the team would still be interested in bringing him back for 2019, just on a deal worth less than $7 million per year.

3. Although there was a picture making the rounds on Saturday of Brady at the Kentucky Derby, it was from last year and it looks like the quarterback skipped the event, as reported earlier in the week by The Sporting News. This goes along with Brady focusing his offseason more on his family than in year’s past. It also appears to be one of the reasons why Brady hasn’t attended any of the Patriots’ offseason workouts yet. Also at the Milken Institute Global Conference, Brady said him missing some of the earlier workouts could be a positive. “I think I am really trying to fill my tank up so that when I do go back and I think in my mind I can actually be a better player, a better teammate because I will be really rejuvenated and the fact I want to be there doing the work for them is still very enjoyable to me,” he said.

4. One leftover tidbit from last week’s draft was it’s come out that the Patriots weren’t going to select Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans at No. 23 overall if he was available. Of course, Tennessee traded up to No. 22 and took Evans. "The Patriots weren't taking him,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on his podcast with Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay last week. "I thought the same thing and on Friday morning I spoke to someone in the Patriots organization. I go, 'Disappointment that you guys didn't get Rashaan Evans?' They're like, 'No, that wasn't the guy we were going for. I know people think that's who we were going for, but that wasn't who we were going for.’” 

5. How committed is new Patriots offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn? He worked out in the Dallas area Friday morning at 5:30 a.m. before hopping on a plane to get to the University of Georgia for his graduation where he got his degree in Human Development and Family Science later in the day. We’re starting to feel pretty confident about Wynn making an impact with the offensive line starting on Day 1.

6. When Matt Ryan signed a contract extension worth $30 million per year this week, it’s worth a reminder of how under-paid Brady is. Making an average of $20.5 million per year in “new money,” this has him ranked 16th in the NFL among quarterbacks. The top five consists of  Ryan, Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr. Based off this, it’s no surprise why Brady reportedly would like a new contract before the start of next season.

7. The Patriots’ rookies will be in town next weekend for rookie minicamp. The sessions are closed to the media, but it’s the first time the new players can get in front of the coaching staff and make a good first impression. The media will get a chance to see the rookies in action for the first time during OTAs with the first session open to the media being May 24.

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