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Tom Brady says he’ll ‘plead the fifth’ when asked if he feels appreciated by Patriots brass

Tom Brady, Patriots, Bill Belichick

After delivering five Super Bowls as well as unprecedented success over two decades for the New England Patriots, one would think that Tom Brady would be showered with adulation and appreciation at all times in Foxboro. However, that might not the case, at least when it comes to two people in particular.

In an interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday, Jim Gray asked Brady whether he felt appreciated by owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick. Brady jokingly replied “I plead the fifth!”, which sparked laughter from the crowd.

“Man, that is a tough question,” Brady continued, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “I think everybody in general wants to be appreciated more in their professional life, but there’s a lot of people that appreciate me way more than I ever thought was possible as part of my life. You have different influences in your life and the people I work with, they’re trying to get the best out of me. So they’re trying to treat me in the way they feel is going to get the best out of me, and I’ve got to get the best out of myself.”

It’s likely not ideal that Brady doesn’t feel an overwhelming sense of appreciation from the two most important in the organization. However, that’s not particularly surprising, particularly when it comes to Belichick.

Belichick is infamous for giving his players grief, and even a legend like Brady doesn’t get an exemption. It’s just his style of man management, and while Brady has likely gotten used to it after two decades, it doesn’t necessarily mean he likes that sort of treatment.

As for Kraft’s part in this, the fact that Brady is one of the most grossly underpaid players in the league due to his willingness to take team-friendly pay cuts might be the big issue, despite Kraft’s denial that it is. There was a previous report indicating that Brady is looking to get a new and improved deal, and that could be what it takes to make him feel more appreciated.

While Brady’s comments shouldn’t be quickly construed as complete unhappiness with his situation in New England and that he wants out, it should still serve as a reminder that his relationship with the team’s top brass likely isn’t as great as it might seem.