Official website of the New England Patriots

Light sees convergence of football, business

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            So far this offseason Patriots left tackle **Matt Light** has seen two of his more experienced offensive line teammates, guard/center Damien Woody and guard Mike Compton, depart New England via free agency. And with Light, three-year veteran who has started 44-of-46 game played since joining the team as a second-round pick out of Purdue in 2001, entering the final year of his rookie contract the business side of football is becoming an ever more invasive part of life.  

Back in New England to take part in the team's offseason program, Light isn't going to let the intrusions of the business side of sports keep him from doing his daily job heading into a contract year. Light also emphatically denies recent published reports stating that he actually turned down a contract extension from the Patriots last fall.

"We really haven't talked at all," Light said last week following a workout at Gillette Stadium. "I still have another year left, so I don't expect anything. You do see guys doing deals early, making sure they can get things in place, but you know for me it's not an issue I really worry about. I kind of deal with the here and now. Right now I am working on this and I understand that it's also a business. Me personally, I'd like to feel comfortable in where I am at, but that's a year from now."

But with all the money that is thrown around through free agency, case in point being Woody's $9 million bonus money in Detroit, is the young left tackle who has defended Tom Brady's blind side on the way to two Super Bowl titles in New England looking to break the bank come contract time? His position is, after all, the most highly paid and glamorous of the offensive line spots.

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            "Well I don't compare myself to anyone, first of all," Light said. "I don't even compare myself with other deals. I hear every now and then what people make out there, and that's good and all, but there is a big difference in being confident in what you do and being arrogant or kind of touchy. I am not the kind of guy who would go out there asking for all the money in the world. But when that time comes and we start talking about it, that's when I start worrying about it. I don't really care to know what other people are making right now. Right now I am just out here playing ball."  

In the end Light would like to be in New England for the foreseeable future, but the intelligent trench man knows that it will come down to a business decision between what he is looking for financially and what the team can afford or chooses to pay.

"Obviously you don't get too many chances to win two titles in three years," Light said. "But unfortunately it is a business. It pretty much comes down to what your team has to deal with and hopefully you'd like to stay somewhere you feel comfortable. But if the team can't do it and you can't agree, which sometimes happens, then you have to move. And unfortunately that happens. I mean obviously this is a place I have a lot of respect for. I have a lot of respect for all the coaches. It's kind of a weird deal. It's really my first time being in a situation coming up in a year where I am going to be in that realm of signing or moving on. It's kind of weird going into that. And it's kind of an uncomfortable feeling because you really don't know what to expect. I mean you can hear all you want, but you are your own person and how it deals with you is going to affect you differently than it does with everybody else. Here is obviously a good home for me, but we'll just have to wait and see, right?"

Notes

The NFL regular season schedule for 2004, including all dates and times, will be announced on a two-hour show on the NFL Network on a yet-to-be-determined date at 5 p.m. The show will air as soon as the schedule is completed by the league, which according to a league release is expected to be later this month. … New defensive lineman Keith Traylor has been assigned jersey number 98, a further sign that defensive end Anthony Pleasant, the previous owner of 98, has decided to call it a career after 14 seasons in the league. … Patriots owner Robert Kraft and a number of players took the Lombardi Trophy to Portland, Maine on Wednesday afternoon for a parade celebrating the team's Super Bowl XXXVIII win

]()

            So far this offseason Patriots left tackle **Matt Light** has seen two of his more experienced offensive line teammates, guard/center Damien Woody and guard Mike Compton, depart New England via free agency. And with Light, three-year veteran who has started 44-of-46 game played since joining the team as a second-round pick out of Purdue in 2001, entering the final year of his rookie contract the business side of football is becoming an ever more invasive part of life.  

Back in New England to take part in the team's offseason program, Light isn't going to let the intrusions of the business side of sports keep him from doing his daily job heading into a contract year. Light also emphatically denies recent published reports stating that he actually turned down a contract extension from the Patriots last fall.

"We really haven't talked at all," Light said last week following a workout at Gillette Stadium. "I still have another year left, so I don't expect anything. You do see guys doing deals early, making sure they can get things in place, but you know for me it's not an issue I really worry about. I kind of deal with the here and now. Right now I am working on this and I understand that it's also a business. Me personally, I'd like to feel comfortable in where I am at, but that's a year from now."

But with all the money that is thrown around through free agency, case in point being Woody's $9 million bonus money in Detroit, is the young left tackle who has defended Tom Brady's blind side on the way to two Super Bowl titles in New England looking to break the bank come contract time? His position is, after all, the most highly paid and glamorous of the offensive line spots.

            [
25736.jpg

]()

            "Well I don't compare myself to anyone, first of all," Light said. "I don't even compare myself with other deals. I hear every now and then what people make out there, and that's good and all, but there is a big difference in being confident in what you do and being arrogant or kind of touchy. I am not the kind of guy who would go out there asking for all the money in the world. But when that time comes and we start talking about it, that's when I start worrying about it. I don't really care to know what other people are making right now. Right now I am just out here playing ball."  

In the end Light would like to be in New England for the foreseeable future, but the intelligent trench man knows that it will come down to a business decision between what he is looking for financially and what the team can afford or chooses to pay.

"Obviously you don't get too many chances to win two titles in three years," Light said. "But unfortunately it is a business. It pretty much comes down to what your team has to deal with and hopefully you'd like to stay somewhere you feel comfortable. But if the team can't do it and you can't agree, which sometimes happens, then you have to move. And unfortunately that happens. I mean obviously this is a place I have a lot of respect for. I have a lot of respect for all the coaches. It's kind of a weird deal. It's really my first time being in a situation coming up in a year where I am going to be in that realm of signing or moving on. It's kind of weird going into that. And it's kind of an uncomfortable feeling because you really don't know what to expect. I mean you can hear all you want, but you are your own person and how it deals with you is going to affect you differently than it does with everybody else. Here is obviously a good home for me, but we'll just have to wait and see, right?"

Notes

The NFL regular season schedule for 2004, including all dates and times, will be announced on a two-hour show on the NFL Network on a yet-to-be-determined date at 5 p.m. The show will air as soon as the schedule is completed by the league, which according to a league release is expected to be later this month. … New defensive lineman Keith Traylor has been assigned jersey number 98, a further sign that defensive end Anthony Pleasant, the previous owner of 98, has decided to call it a career after 14 seasons in the league. … Patriots owner Robert Kraft and a number of players took the Lombardi Trophy to Portland, Maine on Wednesday afternoon for a parade celebrating the team's Super Bowl XXXVIII win

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