Regarding the Buccaneers’ one-year extension for Tom Brady on Friday, GM Jason Licht said they are still “extremely excited” about Brady’s impact on Tampa Bay’s locker room.
“When we acquired Tom a year ago, we were extremely excited about the leadership, poise, and winning track record that he would bring to our locker room. Since that time, he has proven himself to be the ultimate competitor and delivered in every way we had imagined, helping us capture the Lombardi Trophy,” said Licht, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.
Licht reiterated that they “couldn’t be happier” to keep Brady in Tampa Bay.
“Year after year, Tom proves that he remains one of the elite quarterbacks in this game and we couldn’t be happier to keep him in Tampa Bay as we continue to pursue our goals together.“
- NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reports Brady didn’t ask for a raise in his restructured contract, which tacked on an additional year to his initial two-year, $50 million deal and other voidable seasons in order to reduce his cap figure.
Former Eagles HC Doug Pederson said he does not have any hard feelings about being released by the organization and is proud of his time spent in Philadelphia.
“From a closure standpoint, I just think about those great times, great moments I had in the five years,” Pederson said, via Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports. “Obviously, we had a rough season this past year and things didn’t go our way and the injuries and whatnot. But I don’t focus on that. I focus on the good times, the good things, the people I’ve met, the relationships that I have and still hold dear to my heart. That, to me, gives me closure on any decision that was made. Because I know that I can obviously hold my head up high. Very proud of what I did in the five years in Philadelphia, obviously bringing that organization and that city a championship.”
As for reports that Pederson and owner Jeffrey Lurie had disagreements over the Eagles’ coaching staff, Pederson feels that he should always have the ability to hire his own assistants and will “stand up” for them.
“I’ve done that in my time there and obviously I’m going to always continue to stand up for the guys that I want to surround myself with and try to put my best foot forward,” Pederson said. “I feel like as the head coach, you should have that opportunity to have the guys around you. Because then it’s on me, then it’s my decision. If it goes south at that point, then that’s something I have to live with. I’m always going to stand up for those guys, whether they’re coaches, whether they’re players, front office people. Because you want to surround yourself with guys that are loyal, guys that are going to have your back and guys that are going to stand up for you because I’m going to stand up for every one of those players in that locker room, which I did for five years. And obviously my coaches are the same.”
Pederson added that he wanted the opportunity to improve the Eagles next season, but understands Lurie’s decision to move on.
“I would have loved to have had an opportunity to really kind of fix the season last year and get the season back on track and really turn that thing around,” Pederson said. “I feel like that’s something that I really could have done. I understand where [Lurie is] coming from and obviously the situation moving forward.”
Colts’ new QB Carson Wentz commented that he is unsure of how his situation with the Eagles progressed to him eventually falling out of favor in Philadelphia.
“I’m not gonna sugar coat it. It’s not fun… A lot of things, I don’t know why they happened or why they went the way that they did. But you have to look at yourself in the mirror as a man,” said Wentz, via Stephen Holder.
Wentz added that he had an “instant” connection with Colts HC Frank Reich during their time together with the Eagles.
“It was instant… We really challenged each other and ultimately made each other better… I have the utmost respect for the man that he is and the coach that he is as well,” said Wentz, via Holder.
When asked to elaborate about his trade request from Philadelphia, Wentz said he talked with his agent about his experience with the Eagles and decided it didn’t end how he wanted.
“After the season, there was a lot of back and forth with me agent… Things didn’t end the way I wanted. Not gonna say too much on that stuff,” said Wentz, via Holder.
Wentz added that last year’s struggles in Philadelphia were a “culmination” of factors.
“It was a culmination of everything… It was a tough year… You learn from it, get better from it,” said Wentz, via Holder.
Wentz added that the Eagles’ drafting of Jalen Hurts did not affect his confidence.
“I wish the best for that kid,” said Wentz, via George Bremer.
Colts’ owner Jim Irsay feels that Wentz will be a “special match” for the organization.
“We really feel that this is going to be special match, having Carson come in at his age, at 28, and now we see a lot of the main, main pieces set for what can bring us a Lombardi Trophy, and God willing, more than one, in the next decade.”
Irsay indicated that GM Chris Ballard, Reich, and himself had a “long, long” conversation about why Wentz was the right man for the job.
“I can’t emphasize how strongly I feel that Carson is the man for the Colts at the time,” Irsay said, via Zak Keefer.