Tom Brady Pleads the 5th When Asked If He Feels Appreciated by Patriots

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2018

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacts during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady offered a somewhat puzzling response when asked whether he believes the team appreciates him and everything he has helped the organization achieve. 

NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran shared a clip of the exchange between Brady and Jim Gray at the Milken Institute Global Conference. Brady said "I plead the fifth" in response to the question posed by Gray:

Tom E. Curran @tomecurran

Tom Brady was asked today at the Milken Institute Global Conference if he feels appreciated by the Patriots. His response: "I plead the 5th..." https://t.co/8Tl6k5emj9

In the clip, Gray alluded to comments Brady's wife, Gisele Bundchen, made in the Facebook documentary Tom vs. Time.

"These last two years have been very challenging for him in so many ways," Bundchen said, via Curran. "And he tells me, 'I love it so much and I just want to go to work and feel appreciated and have fun.'"

Curran's clip didn't include compliments Brady directed toward Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during his conversation with Gray.

"He's an incredible coach," Brady said, per TMZ Sports. "He's been an incredible mentor for me. He's taught me so much football. ... I wouldn't be sitting here without his coaching."

Brady added he and Belichick have had "very respectful relationship for a long time."

However, eluding Gray's question about his general satisfaction in New England hinted at what has been a storyline surrounding the franchise for months.

Back in January, ESPN's Seth Wickersham wrote an in-depth story about what appeared to be a growing divide between Brady, Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. According to Wickersham, Brady had grown particularly frustrated with Belichick's criticism of his performance:

"At the same time, as his age has increased, Brady has become an advocate of positive thinking. Belichick's negativity and cynicism have gotten old, Brady has told other Patriots players and staff. He feels he has accomplished enough that he shouldn't have to endure so much grief. Patriots staffers have noticed that, this year more than ever, he seems to volley between unwavering confidence and driving insecurity."

Wickersham also spoke to staff members of the Patriots who said Brady had vocalized his frustration with failing to earn the distinction of Patriot of the Week during the 2017 season.

Regardless of whether there were any problems behind the scenes Foxborough, New England still reached its third Super Bowl in four years in 2017, and there's every indication Brady will continue playing in 2018.

It wouldn't appear tensions are about to boil over for the Patriots' biggest personalities, but that doesn't mean the franchise isn't without some level of internal drama.