Tom Brady skipped organized team activities last week but he showed that his arm still has plenty of zip and accuracy — even if he was thousands of miles way.
The four-time Super Bowl MVP was featured in a promotional in conjunction with the Monaco Grand Prix, connecting on a yacht-to-boat pass with Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.
In a video posted by Red Bull Racing via Twitter on Sunday morning, Brady, standing on the deck of a massive yacht, fired a strike across the water that Ricciardo snatched out of the air.
It was a catch that may have brought a smile to the face of dour New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick — had the connection come at OTAs rather than across the Atlantic.
The absence of Brady from the voluntary OTAs caused a stir in New England, since the three-time NFL MVP has been a frequent participant in the past.
The 40-year-old Brady did not publicly commit to playing the 2018 season until a promotional appearance on April 30 in Santa Monica, Calif.
At the time, Brady said he desired to spend more time with his family this offseason while still preparing for the 2018 season. Per the Boston Globe, Brady has been seen training both on the beach and on the field at UCLA.
Belichick provided a blunt answer on Tuesday when directly asked about the no-show status of Brady, who has participated in OTAs every year from 2011-17.
“Yeah, I’m not going to talk about the people who aren’t here. Guys that are here are improving, they’re working hard and those are the guys we’re going to focus on,” Belichick said.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft told reporters that he was unconcerned about the absence of Brady, emphasizing that “voluntary” nature of the workouts.
Kraft noted Brady’s family responsibilities and also said that the five-time Super Bowl champion is “very excited” about the mandatory minicamp, which is scheduled for June 5-7.
Brady has two years remaining on his contract and is currently scheduled to earn a base salary of $14 million in 2018.
He threw for a league-best 4,577 yards along with 32 touchdowns and only eight interceptions last season.
Brady is the oldest player to receive the NFL MVP award and the fourth to win it three or more times (Peyton Manning, five; Brett Favre and Johnny Unitas, three apiece). Brady was also the NFL MVP after the 2007 and 2010 seasons.