From this morning s ProJo Bruschi now has an agent; may sit out 2005 season 01:00 AM EST on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 BY TOM E. CURRAN Journal Sports WriterMessage 1 of 1 , Mar 23, 2005View SourceFrom this morning's ProJoBruschi now has an agent; may sit out 2005 season
01:00 AM EST on Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Tedy Bruschi is considering taking a season off from the NFL.
After suffering a stroke just 10 days after last month's Super Bowl, speculation and angst about the 31-year-old inside linebacker's future have been running high.
Bruschi has been silent since his release from Massachusetts General Hospital on Feb. 18 two days after he was stricken at his North Attleboro home. Last week a Tucson television station reported Bruschi was having surgery to repair a hole in his heart. That hole, it was speculated, may have been the root cause of the blood clot that caused the stroke.
Brad Blank, Bruschi's newly-hired agent, told the Boston Globe yesterday that, "I can relate to you only that Tedy is considering not playing next year. Beyond that I cannot comment on anything."
Bruschi has not had an agent since his rookie season. He's explained in the past that he prides himself on being self-sufficient. He prefers to decide for himself what's best for him and his family without the advice of a representative. He represented himself in his last two contract negotiations.
Last year, he and the Patriots hammered out a deal that paid Bruschi less than what linebackers of his ilk make. Murmurs that Bruschi did himself a disservice made the rounds but Bruschi stated simply before the season began that it wasn't important to him to chase every nickel, and that quality of life mattered.
Ironically -- almost tragically -- Bruschi wound up in a life-threatening situation less than a year later, weeks after his third son was born, days after his first Pro Bowl appearance.
Since quality of life and family are oft-stated priorities for Bruschi, the decision to take a season off -- while not yet final -- would seem to make sense in that regard. It would also leave the door open for returning to his linebacker spot -- a position he played as well as anyone in the league in 2004.
Asked yesterday about Bruschi's medical condition, Blank said, "I'm not allowed to comment on his medical status. All those comments come from the Bruschis."
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who is in Hawaii for the NFL owners meetings, also declined comment, saying, "Tedy has made all the comments. I leave it at that."
A year ago, Bruschi negotiated an $8.3-million deal that paid him a $3.5-million signing bonus and a $700,000 salary last season. He is scheduled to earn $850,000 in 2005, $1.35 million in 2006 and $1.70 million in the final year.
If Bruschi retires, the deal would be voided, but if he sits out 2005, he could be paid his full salary if the Patriots place him on the physically unable to perform list. If they put him on the non-football-related injury list, they would not be obligated to pay him his salary but still might choose to do so.
If Bruschi retires before June 1, the Patriots would face a salary-cap increase of more than $2.6 million, the pro-rated portion of the signing bonus.
The Boston Globe contributed to this report.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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