FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady turned to humor Thursday when he was asked about not being among the NFL's highest-paid quarterbacks, which was appropriate considering who was conducting the interview.
In an appearance on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Brady explained his willingness to play for less by saying: "I think the thing I've always felt for me, and my life, winning has been a priority -- and my wife makes a lot of money. I'm a little smarter than you think."
Brady smiled, and the crowd laughed, before he turned more serious.
"Actually, it's the salary cap, and you can only spend so much," he said. "The more one guy gets, it's less for others. For a competitive advantage standpoint, I like to get a lot of good players around me."
Brady, who is the only player in NFL history with six Super Bowl rings, enters the last year of his contract in 2019. He is scheduled to earn a base salary of $14 million, with a chance to earn another $1 million in roster bonuses.
He last signed a two-year extension in March 2016 that included $41 million in new money. As part of that extension, Brady received a $28 million signing bonus.
The quarterback market has continued to rise since, with the Seahawks' Russell Wilson now atop the charts after signing a four-year, $140 million extension in April that includes a $65 million signing bonus.
Brady, who turns 42 in August, has said he hopes to play until he is 45.
At Super Bowl LIII, Patriots owner Robert Kraft foreshadowed the possibility of extending Brady's contract, saying: "I would be quite surprised if he didn't continue for quite a while as our quarterback."
Meanwhile, for the second offseason in a row, Brady has stayed away from the Patriots' voluntary offseason program, instead electing to train on his own and devote time to his family. This week, he used UCLA's facilities.
Asked by Kimmel if he ever gets tired of football and has had enough, Brady said: "Not to this point. I feel like to be at the top, or to give your team a chance to win every season, you have to put a lot into it. I try to bring my best every day. I try to be the best teammate, leader and also physically to stay prepared because no one wants someone who is taking up space."