In New England, Tom Brady is known as the G.O.A.T. The 6-time Super Bowl champion, for the first time in his career, is going to become a free agent. This news alone has given Patriots fans across the world a mini heart attack, but the rumors circling this offseason are making them panic even more.
On February 12, Christian Fauria, ex-teammate and respected Boston sports radio host, made the statement, “I think the Patriots are okay and ready to move on. Everything that comes out from Ian Rapoport is just bogus-ness. It’s fake, it’s narrative changing, it’s camouflage, it’s not the truth because there’s going to be ‘it’s not our fault’ fans. They know Brady’s not coming back”.
This statement obviously upset many Patriot fans, but is there truth to it? Tom Brady has hinted at leaving (even cleaning out his locker at the end of last season) and is frustrated by the lack of offense the Patriots had last season. The Patriots also have other notable free agents to resign, such as Devin McCourty, Kyle Van Noy, Joe Thuney, and Jamie Collins.
On top of that, the Patriots are looking at adding pieces this offseason with names like A.J Green, Nelson Agholor, Tyler Eifert, and Austin Hooper to name a few. With names like that, there’s not enough money available for everyone.
Tom Brady has always given a team discount to his contracts, but not this year. He wants to get paid what he thinks he deserves ($30-35 million). The Patriots have just over $44 million dollars available, but would they want to use most of it on an aging quarterback?
Bill Belichick has always done what’s best for the team. That is the Patriot Way. If Belichick decides to break this rule, it will set a new precedent, and possibly ruin the mindsets of the players in the locker room. With the Patriot Way, no one is supposed to get special treatment, not even a player who has given your franchise six Super Bowls, and is known as the greatest quarterback ever.
This might make future players feel as though they deserve special treatment, which will ruin the whole system. Bill has already shown interest in moving on from Brady, but Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, stopped this the first time by trading Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett. This has put a strain on the relationship between the three of them. Robert Kraft looks at Tom Brady as a son, and can’t see him playing for anyone else, still viewing him as a franchise quarterback.
Last season, Tom Brady had his second-lowest season in passing yards and passer rating (leaving out the 2016 season when he was suspended for four games), and a decade-low in touchdowns. Not having offensive weapons was a factor, but Father Time may have been too.
Tom Brady is turning forty-three this August and is only going to decline from where he is now. As of now, Tom Brady is still a top ten quarterback in the league, but how long will that productivity last, especially without any offensive weapons?
With this in mind Tom Brady might need to prove to Bill Belichick, and the rest of the haters that he can go out and win without the Patriots. For his whole career, Tom has been called a system QB that can not win in another system. If he wants to leave, now is the time.
This also gives Bill Belichick an opportunity to see if he can win without Tom Brady. Belichick is known as one of if not the greatest football coach of all time, but has also had the greatest QB by his side almost the whole ride. Tom Brady leaving would be a new challenge for Bill, and it seems that he is up for it.
Several teams have shown interest in the future Hall-of-Famer, such as the Chargers, Cowboys, and Raiders. The Chargers have already parted ways with Phillip Rivers, and Cowboys Hall-of-Famer Michael Irvin has disclosed that the Cowboys could sign and trade Dak Prescott and then pursue Tom Brady in free agency. He later retracted that statement, but that could just be so he wouldn’t get into trouble.
Tom Brady said he would accept a cheaper contract if the Patriots signed more offensive weapons this off-season, but then again how much is he willing to go down. This season Tom Brady had a cap hit of $21.5 million. If he would sign a contract like that again the Patriots would have at least an additional $10 million to use.
With that money, the Patriots could sign one more high-profile player like A.J Green or trade for a player like Odell Beckham Jr. Is this enough to please Brady though or is his family more important?
Gisele Bündchen, Tom Brady’s wife, has expressed wanting to live closer to family down in Costa Rica. The family has already sold their house up in Massachusetts recently, and are ready to live somewhere new. Rumors have surfaced with Tom Brady looking at homes everywhere from Tennessee to New York. Right now, everything can be taken as a grain of salt, but it’s interesting to hear.
As of now, everything is speculation, but if one thing is certain, it’s that the Patriots will be a different team without Tom Brady, and the league as a whole will never be the same once he is gone (saying that he has to retire someday). But for now, Patriot fans can relax slightly but need to prepare for anything.