Brady doesn't need offseason surgery

BOSTON -- Tom Brady says he won't need surgery this offseason.

The New England Patriots quarterback played much of the season with finger and rib injuries, after missing all but the first quarter of the first game of the previous season with a left knee injury that required surgery.

"I'm excited I don't have to have surgery this offseason," Brady said Monday at a charity appearance in which he presented a $30,000 check to Boston Centers For Youth and Families through Smartwater. "I remember a year ago at this time there were all these concerns on whether I was going to play this year. I was never concerned about that. It's nice to be in an offseason when I really feel like I can get started right away."

Brady said he feels good that he can get right into offseason activities. Earlier, he withdrew from the Pro Bowl, scheduled for Sunday in Miami, because of his finger injury, the Patriots said. This offseason promises to be much different than last year.

"Nobody wants to take a year off," he said. "It's something I did and it happens with a lot of players, like Wes [Welker] [knee injury] -- he has a tough road and he'll overcome it. I have no doubt he will. Everybody deals with it at different times, unless you're Brett Favre. So you just have to learn to overcome them, be mentally tough with whatever circumstance happened with your body or your mind, and try to go out and play a helluva lot better next year."

Brady will be entering the final year of his contract, but said he doesn't really like to talk about those issues. "We're way overpaid as it is," he said. "That's not really a concern."

He added: "Being a player rep now, I realize all the issues we're facing. As a team player, I don't sit here saying, 'What about me? What about me?' I'm under contract. I'm going to out there and play my butt off."

Brady also said "we're a long way away" from a new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players to replace the one that ends after the 2010 season, "but there's a long way to go before the season starts."

There would be no salary cap next season under the current agreement.

The Patriots won Super Bowls in 2002, 2004 and 2005 but have gone five straight years without an NFL championship.

Brady said he isn't surprised that the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints are in the Super Bowl.

"No, they've been the best teams all season. They certainly deserved to be there. They proved it over the course of the whole season. They have a lot of good players. They did the job. They earned it."

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss and The Associated Press contributed to this report.