Patriots owner Robert Kraft details how quarterback Tom Brady's contract extension came to fruition in this week's "Monday Morning Quarterback" piece on SI.com, calling it a "real deal" that both sides will live by.
Kraft tells Peter King the extension was something he had been thinking about for three or four years.
"I was probably wearing my fan hat as much as anything else," Kraft says in the piece. "I just didn't want to ever see this become like Joe Montana leaving San Francisco, Emmitt Smith leaving Dallas, Brett Favre leaving Green Bay, Peyton Manning leaving Indianapolis. If Tom Brady played out this current contract and left us, there was no doubt in my mind that someone out there would pay him top dollar, and they should, for his ability, his leadership and his unselfishness.
"I was just trying to stay ahead of the curve. If we were going to have to pay him elite-quarterback money and have elite-quarterback cap numbers, I just didn't think we would be able to build a team. We don't want to have a team where we're paying 18 to 20 percent to a player on the cap. I wanted to do something elegant that would work for everybody. I had been talking to him off and on for maybe 18 months, about how I wanted him to finish his career here, and about how we both have to be smart about it. I just really want him to end his career a Patriot.''
Kraft and Brady flew from Massachusetts to Los Angeles five weeks ago, according to King, and had plenty of time to discuss the idea of this type of contract.
"I am glad we are able to take negotiations out of this relationship for the next five years," Kraft tells King. "Look, I don't know what's going to happen in the next five years. No one can know. But this move, strategically, helps us be in a position to win. We're going to spend to the cap. Tom knows that it's not like whatever we don't pay him we're putting in the Kraft family pocket. He gets it, and now he's rooting for us to make the right decisions in building the team. By the way, I have heard that it's been reported Tom made demands about who he wanted us to sign. Absolutely not. It never happened."
To read "Monday Morning Quarterback", CLICK HERE.