Is Tom Brady Getting Us Ready for the "Big Ask"?

posted by Nick Hardwick -

Tom Brady

It’s time for Tom to cash in on all of the equity that he’s built up over the years with the Patriots, and he appears to be working in that direction with his latest dialogue.

Just like the Conor Orr article in Sports Illustrated in an article titled “Why Listening to Tom Brady Speak Has Reached a Point of Diminishing Return”, the author states, ‘Every time Tom Brady speaks these days it seems to be either for an advertisement or to allow Brady to make a very specific point.’ I couldn’t agree more. What at first was intriguing and at times fascinating; getting the skinny on the most mysterious man in the league, has become forced and very obviously driven back to his lifestyle brand.

But the Jim Gray interview hit me particularly different than his previous ‘sales pitches’. Jim Gray asked him about Malcolm Butler and having been given reasons for the benching of the cornerback before the biggest game a football player can play in. Tom Brady answered with “The Coach” made the decision. In my estimation, Bill Belichick made a decision towards his legacy and future of the franchise, with his ‘no part is more important than the sum’ stance. He’s subsequently has failed to follow up with any clear communication to the fan base or to Brady, Gronk, Amendola, and the rest of the guys on the Patriots roster that he potentially robbed from their legacy and winning another Super Bowl Championship. He chose himself over them.

Now, Tom isn’t showing up to off-season workouts, OTA’s, and apparently will only come around for the mandatory minicamp.

What hit me about the interview with Jim Gray was the need to begin winning a PR campaign perhaps against Bill. It was as if he was done driving his followers back to his lifestyle brand, and is instead asking for permission to start asking to be more selfish when it comes to his NFL compensation. Simply put, it’s time for Tom to cash in on all of his equity that he’s built up over the years with the Patriots, and he appears to be working in that direction with his dialogue. I’m not saying this is necessarily going to happen, but I get the sense that with him saying he wants to play into his mid-40’s and with the lack of clarity around Belichick’s reciprocal commitment to both of their legacies, Tom is nearing this moment in his career.

He’s had the power throughout his entire career to either choose his salary or his legacy. He’s chosen to taken pay cuts for the greater good of his team and, make no mistake, his own legacy. His legacy at this point is fixed. You can’t be greater than the greatest. Brady has been led to this decision by Belichick; 'if I sacrifice my pay once again for the team, do I trust that that decision will be rewarded at the moment of payoff? Or will my coach choose to live and die by his principles, and continue to make his own legacy play?’ After being burned in the Super Bowl, Tom may have already made up his mind.

Time to cash in TB.

Photo: Getty Images

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HARDWICK and RICHARDS

HARDWICK and RICHARDS

Nick Hardwick and Judson Richards host Hardwick & Richards a live, local sports talk show airing weekday mornings from 6-9am on XTRA 1360 AM Fox Sports San Diego. Nick Hardwick is a retired NFL player who spent 11 years as center with the San... Read more

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