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Tight-lipped Tom Brady at least attempts to quell one lingering controversy

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Maybe Tom Brady wasn’t willing to provide the answers everyone was looking for during his first public appearance since the release of the damning Wells Report, but the New England Patriots did at least try to put one lingering controversy in the rear view mirror. Although it’s arguable that he didn’t do a very good job at accomplishing it.

Brady on Thursday evening honored a personal commitment and made a previously scheduled public appearance at Salem State University to take part in a discussion with journalist Jim Gray. Brady of course was asked by Gray about the Wells Report, which contained findings that painted a pretty unflattering picture of the Super Bowl-winning signal-caller. Not surprisingly, despite Gray’s soft-armed prodding, Brady was hesitant to say anything definitive on the topic.

One lingering controversy that Brady did address during the sit-down, however, was his conspicuous absence when the Patriots paid a visit to the White House to meet with President Obama.

Brady chalked it up merely as a timing conflict and indicated he wished he could have made it.

After cracking wise — he responded, “Did the team go?”– Brady offered up his explanation.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t make that, I had a family commitment,” he said, via CSNNE. “But the team enjoyed it. It’s such a great honor. I’ve been lucky to go there three times professionally and then once when I was in college. It’s a pretty cool place, you guys should go next time. Hopefully we’re back there next year.”

When asked if he would make the trip next time should the Patriots ever get invited again, Brady replied, “Absolutely.”

Speculation abounded regarding exactly why Brady skipped out on the visit, as he reportedly was spotted at Gillette Stadium at the time his teammates were at the White House. One theory floated was that Brady was offended by a sarcastic jab made at his expense by White House press secretary Josh Earnest that was critical of his public relations skills.

But if Brady is to be believed, he wouldn’t be so petty. It was simply a scheduling conflict, nothing more.

[H/T Pro Football Talk, image credit: ABC News]