Two high-profile New England Patriots players are pining for contract extensions. One is going about it the Patriot way; the other, not so much.
Franchise quarterback Tom Brady and prolific wide receiver Randy Moss are both in the last years of their deals. Both have performed extremely well for the Patriots and are deserving of new deals.
But they are going about it in two completely opposite ways.
Head coach Bill Belichick is infamous for not giving away too much information to the media. He likes to keep all issues in the locker room and keep everyone outside guessing.
Brady, drafted by Belichick, is his top disciple. The quarterback doesn’t give up too much information and is all about the team.
When he was asked about his ongoing contract extension negotiations, Brady responded, “I don't want to get into it. For me, it's the same as it's been. I'm trying to find a way to score some touchdowns against the Bengals. I didn't spend five minutes yesterday thinking about my contract or future.”
He continued to say that even talking about it made him “pretty uncomfortable” because of how Belichick and owner Robert Kraft feel about handling such situations.
Since the turn of the new millennium Brady has been the face of the Patriots franchise, the main component of the Patriot dynasty. He deserves a new contract. However, if he in the slightest way felt disrespected, you would never know.
The situation won’t distract him. He wouldn’t allow it to affect his play. He certainly won’t tell the media he’s upset.
It’s all business for Brady, and his business is beating the Bengals on the road to attempting to win another Super Bowl.
This is not to say Randy Moss doesn’t want to win the Super Bowl, but he’s also not afraid to voice his opinion.
Moss whined that no new contract proposal made him feel “unwanted,” that the Patriots organization did not respect the hard work Moss has put in and the exceptional numbers he’s put up.
He says he understands the nature of the business, but that comment seems contrary to everything else he has said. If he truly understood how the business worked, then he would understand that he has a contract he needs to play out. He would understand that the Patriots had to pay Vince Wilfork over the offseason and have to pay Brady and Logan Mankins as well.
If he understands it’s business, then he wouldn’t feel unwanted; he’d feel like he needed to have another good year to earn a new contract. That’s all.
The pressing nature for a new contract is obvious, as the league’s CBA is set to expire and a labor stoppage is a popular point of discussion. Moss wants to be financially secure and wants a favorable contract before a new CBA changes the values players can reach.
The worry becomes what kind of attitude Moss will have heading into the season. While Brady says the right things and the public knows his contract situation won’t get to him, it isn’t so clear for Moss.
NFL fans have seen a moody Moss, and it isn’t a pretty picture. He mopes on the sidelines and essentially refuses to play. The more disenfranchised he gets, the bigger a distraction he becomes.
To Moss’ credit, he has not been a problem at all for the team. It seems as if Belichick and Brady have turned him into a model citizen, and they won’t allow him to revert to the Moss of old. They’ve both praised Moss since his outburst to the media, saying how valuable he is, how important he is, and how they do want him on board.
With the latest news that Brady and the team have agreed to a contract extension, it may also be closer to Moss’ turn. If the team wishes not to actually negotiate during the season, they can at least focus on Moss and communicate with him, letting him know that he is next in line.
Still, the differences between how Brady handled himself and how Moss handled himself reflect most on their status as a Patriot. Like the topic of how, unlike New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez wasn’t a “true Yankee,” it comes down to winning: Tom Brady has led the Patriots to three Super Bowl victories. Randy Moss has not won anything.
Therefore, rewarding Brady for his victories is top priority. Ensuring one of his favorite and most dangerous passing targets is around is secondary business.
Business. Nothing personal.