Kraft softshoes around Brady's future

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Kraft softshoes around Brady's future

NEW ORLEANS - Two years ago, Robert Kraft lamented the "lazy interception" Tom Brady threw early in a playoff loss to the Jets.

That description did not go over well with The Brady Camp.

Friday at the Super Bowl, the Patriots owner seemed to speak hesitantly when asked if he were concerned about the advanced age of the 35-year-old Brady.

"I think he had a remarkable year this year and I think we look at each year as it happens," Kraft said. "I'd love him to be here as long as he's productive and feels he wants to play."

Brady, who turns 36 in August, is signed through 2014. He'll make 15 million in salary and bonuses the next two years and his cap hit is 21,800,000 each year.

So unless there's another deal struck, Brady will be a 38-year-old free agent after the 2014 season.

Could Kraft ever conceive of seeing Brady play elsewhere?

"That's his choice but I would surely never like to see that happen. I think what he's done for this franchise . . . " Kraft said, his voice trailing off.

Kraft began again, "But once again, everything is a dual decision. But I think, somehow I feel he'll know when it's not right for him and I believe he loves being a Patriot and we sure love having him be part of our organization."

To date, Brady has said nothing to indicate he's wearying of the game or that retirement is imminent.

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

FOXBORO – Back in March, Eric Weddle batted his eyes longingly at the Patriots. The two-time All-Pro safety’s time was done with the Chargers and he wanted to spend his NFL autumn with a team that had a chance to win it all. 

He didn’t land in New England, but he didn’t too badly, winding up with the usually competitive Ravens.  

On a Thursday conference call with New England media, Weddle confirmed that there was mutual interest expressed. 

“Obviously, I was interested,” he acknowledged. “I have nothing but high regard, respect and admiration – and envy, quite honestly – of the success of the New England Patriots over the years. Obviously, battling them in my career, it’s always been a great game. I love the way they play, love the foundation, love everything about it. It was definitely on my radar. There were talks both ways, it just didn’t end up [working out].”

The numbers massed at the position with Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon played a role in the two sides not being able to reach accord, according to Weddle. 

“I’m good buddies with Patrick Chung,” he said. “I grew up playing with him and Devin [McCourty] is one of the best to play, so I don’t know if it would have worked out personnel-wise. But obviously, I could have seen myself fitting in there seamlessly.”

Weddle’s New England attraction apparently wasn’t love that bloomed late in his career. Toward the end of his conference call, Weddle said, “I’m still wondering why they just didn’t draft me in ’07; I could have been still playing there now.”

As reporters puzzled for a moment trying to recall the 2007 first-rounder, Weddle chipped in with the answer: “[They took] Brandon Meriweather.”

Raiders' loss to Chiefs puts Patriots in AFC driver's seat

Raiders' loss to Chiefs puts Patriots in AFC driver's seat

FOXBORO - The Patriots got a desired outcome Thursday night when the Chiefs handed the Raiders their third loss of the season. 

The 21-13 loss dropped Oakland and KC into a tie atop the AFC West at 10-3 but the Chiefs, by virtue of beating Oakland twice this season, have the divisional tiebreaker. Oakland went from the top seed in the AFC to the fifth spot.

More importantly around here, the Patriots now are in position to win out and claim the AFC’s No. 1 seed. 

Prior to the Raiders loss, Oakland would have been the top seed if both they and the Patriots won out.  Now, the 10-2 Patriots have a leg up on the rest of the conference. The Raiders’ road stays tough. They are at San Diego and Denver and host the Colts. 

The Chiefs have a more favorable close to the season with home games against Tennessee and Denver before their season finale at San Diego. 

The Patriots’ road over the final four is no picnic though, beginning with the Ravens and at Denver before the last two hosting the Jets and traveling to Miami.