Brady on teammates skipping White House: 'That's their choice'

Brady on teammates skipping White House: 'That's their choice'

Before Devin McCourty, Martellus Bennett, LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long planned to skip their team's White House visit, Tom Brady did. 

Two years ago, after the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX, they traveled to Washington, DC to meet with president Barack Obama, but their quarterback wasn't there. Despite what Patriots owner Robert Kraft said on Monday, Brady's absence got its share of headlines and air time. And now that McCourty, Bennett, Blount, Long, Alan Branch and Dont'a Hightower have said they won't make the trip to see president Donald Trump, the Patriots and their trip to the nation's capital are back in the news. 

Brady's situation from two years ago seems to have been different, though. It wasn't as though he didn't feel welcome in the White House, as Blount, Bennett and McCourty have relayed. He simply had a prior engagement and not much in the way of notice before the trip was scheduled. 

That's what he told PFT Live on Tuesday.

"Everybody has their own choice," Brady said. "There’s certain years, like a couple years ago, I wanted to go and didn’t get the opportunity based on the schedule — we didn’t get told until I think like 10 days before we were going, and at that point I had something I’d been planning for months and couldn’t get there."

Brady has been to the White House four times before -- three with the Patriots when President George W. Bush was in office and once with Michigan when president Bill Clinton was the host -- and told PFT "it really is a great experience."

"Putting politics aside, it never was a political thing," Brady said. "At least, it never was to me. It meant you won a championship and you got to experience something cool with your team, with your teammates. Everyone has their own choice. It’s an offseason. These days are valuable for everybody. You only get so much time with your family and friends, and if people don’t want to go they don’t want to go and that’s their choice."

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.