Five years ago Tom Brady signed a contract with the Patriots worth roughly $60 million over six years. The deal was below-market because, as some say, Brady wanted to ensure that the Patriots had enough money to play with in order to field a competitive team well into the future.
After that contract was signed -- and he received over $30 million in the first two years -- Brady spent the bulk of the offseason in Los Angeles with his newborn son and not in Foxboro with his New England teammates.
Brady is currently participating in the Patriots offseason program though he's not expected to stick around after the final minicamp from June 15-17.
Because of that -- and that Brady's reps and the Patriots have had "no substantial talks" -- Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports reports there is a "growing disconnect" between the two sides when it comes to negotiating a new contract as Brady enters the final year of his contract.
However, wanting something to happen and making it so financially are two different animals, and some people close to Brady feel the organization isn’t displaying much urgency toward ensuring the latter. Conversely, the Patriots’ brass, now experiencing a third consecutive offseason in which their California-raised quarterback has spent a sizeable chunk of time away from the team’s facility, would probably welcome some assurances that the quarterback is content to remain on the East Coast.
Silver points to the uneasy landscape of the NFL's labor situation as a possible reason for the "disconnect" between the two sides. Patriots owner Robert Kraft is one of the most influential owners while Brady is a player rep for the union. The Patriots have shown at times this offseason that they may be more inclined to spend less on player costs because of the possibility of a work-stoppage.
Ultimately, Silver concludes, there is no hard evidence to suggest a deal won't get done. Kraft and Brady -- despite being in prominent roles on opposite sides of the negotiating table -- have had a good relationship.
While this isn't quite a full blown concern, it's a situation to keep an eye on.