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.

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

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Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."