BOSTON — New England Patriots safeties Patrick Chung and Nate Ebner addressed a small group of reporters Wednesday night at Paddy O’s bar near Fanueil Hall.
Naturally, as has been the case with nearly every conversation involving the Patriots these last few months, the topic of Tom Brady eventually came up.
Brady, of course, is set to hit free agency March 18 for the first time in his NFL career. Chung and Ebner, who have played with the 42-year-old quarterback for 10 and eight seasons, respectively, were asked for their thoughts on Brady’s uncertain future.
Their responses were straight out of Bill Belichick’s “it is what it is” playbook.
“(It’s) not weird,” Chung said. “It’s just something we can’t control, and we can’t worry about things we can’t control. He’s a grown man. He can do whatever he wants to make sure his family and his foundation are set. That’s all I’m going to say about that. It’s out of my control.”
Ebner, an impending free agent himself, concurred.
“Every year, guys’ contracts come up,” the veteran special teamer said. “That’s part of football. Like (Chung) said, it’s out of our control, and it’s part of football. We can’t worry about stuff we can’t control.”
Chung offered a slightly more expansive response when asked about another key New England UFA: safety Devin McCourty, a career Patriot and longtime co-captain who’s been with the team since 2010.
“I’d love to have him back,” Chung said. “(He’s one of) my friends here. But it’s the same thing. He has to do whatever he has to do to take care of himself. So whatever decision that is, I’m going to back him fully.”
Chung’s and Ebner’s comments came at an event announcing their minority ownership stakes in the New England Free Jacks, a professional rugby team based in the Boston area that began its first season in Major League Rugby earlier this month.