Much has been made about whether Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski will play for the Patriots in 2018. But the issue facing the Pats right now is less about whether their star players are returning, but why is it even a question? And what’s really going on behind he scenes in Foxboro?
NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry joined host Mike Petraglia on Patriots Beat this week to discuss the friction in Foxboro. According to Perry, things are definitely not normal.
“This has been an offseason unlike any other for Tom Brady and for the Patriots,” said Perry.
On Wednesday somewhat conflicting media reports surfaced on the future of TB-12. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Brady had not yet committed to returning.
Patriots’ QB Tom Brady still has not committed to playing in 2018, even though people who know him believe he will back coming season, league sources told ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 18, 2018
While the NFL network’s Ian Rappoport and Mike Garafolo said more definitively that Brady would definitely play next season.
Perry says the very fact that there’s is any uncertainty, however minor, is a problem.
“The fact that Brady is coming back isn’t all that’s different than whats been reported,” Perry told Petraglia. “Thats has always been the assumption. The fact that there is any uncertainty at all coming from the team’s side and coming from Brady’s side, that is news.”
Perry believes that fans and media don’t need to dig too deep looking for clues. The issues are there for everyone to see.
“He (Brady) looked directly into camera in Tom vs Time (Brady’s Facebook series), a production that he had full editorial control over and said ‘I have to figure out where my convictions lie, Why am I doing this and who am I doing this for.'” said Perry.
Perry also thinks that based on where a lot of the reporting is coming from (plugged in reporters like Schefter and his colleague Tom E. Curran) that there is definitely something going on. Issues that lie deep beneath the surface that have not yet and may not be resolved.
“Things are not great between the Quarterback and the Coach and that’s at the root of the issue,” said Perry. “I reached out to someone in Brady’s camp tonight, and it would be very easy for them or anyone to say that these reports are laughable, but they haven’t done that. Again for Tom (Curran) and (Adam) Schefter to be reporting what they are reporting. There could be other things they’re trying to ferret out. Things that they’re hearing and they’re not comfortable reporting yet. This isn’t made up out of thin air.”
As for Brady’s decision to skip or not report to the beginning of the team’s offseason program. It may not be a problem yet, but Perry cited former Patriots Linebacker Jerod Mayo who believes that if this absence extends much longer it will be.
“We had (Jerod) Mayo on our podcast this week and he said ‘If Brady and Gronkowski weren’t back by next week, we’ve really got a problem here,'” said Perry. “‘If they’re gone for longer than that, its an issue, The statement gets much louder the longer they stay away.'”