FOXBORO — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was back at Gillette Stadium this week, attending all three sessions of the team’s mandatory minicamp and talking to the media for the first time this offseason on Thursday.
The 41-year-old quarterback’s presence follows an offseason in which he took a similar approach to last year as he skipped out on organized team activities.
More than anything, it was a family decision, Brady said.
“You know, I think it’s just, I have a family at home and I think they get some of my time and energy,” Brady said. “You know, my wife (super model Gisele Bündchen) is a very ambitious woman and she travels a lot so, just trying to divide some responsibility at home. She supports me a lot, my family supports me a lot and my kids aren’t getting any younger.
“So, you know, just trying to spend the time with them when I can and still get the other things done that I need to get done and be ready to go when it’s time to go,” Brady said.
Brady is gearing up for his 20th season with the Patriots, but the veteran signal-caller seems to still be sticking with the outlook of a rookie and seeking improvement.
“You know, it’s been three days,” Brady said. “We got some stuff to learn from, and that will go all the way up until the end of the year.
“You’re never a finished product,” he added. “I mean, one thing you look at last year was how we evolve and how we grow to a certain point and you just try to keep coming out with a great process and try to get better as the year goes.”
The 2019-20 season is currently the final year of Brady’s contract and while expectations are that the two sides will come to an agreement on an extension, Brady did not get into much of the details Thursday.
“I don’t think about it too much,” Brady said. “I think those things work themselves out.”
He did not say whether negotiations between the two sides were taking place either.
“That’s none of your business,” Brady joked. “I’ve never really talked about my contract or anything like that so I don’t really want to start doing that now.”
Brady is scheduled to record a $27 million cap hit and extending his contract could lessen the financial burden on the team.
Putting a ring on it
Following the final minicamp session, the Patriots celebrated their sixth Super Bowl on Thursday night with what has become their almost annual ring ceremony.
Brady said he was looking forward to the celebration, specifically noting how he will get to see former tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has not been with the team this offseason since his retirement from the NFL.
“It’s pretty special to be in this position, to accept the ring and to have it for the rest of your life,” Brady said. “(It’s) something you pass down to your kids. It means a lot. That 2018 team accomplished a lot and it’s a great night to celebrate. You’ll have these pictures for the rest of your life. So, it’ll be fun. Everyone’s looking forward to it.
“He puts on a great party,” Brady said of Patriots owner and party planner Robert Kraft. “It’ll be a great night.”
The Patriots will host another session of OTAs on Monday, but Brady’s status is not yet known.