The NFL combine is going on throughout this week. The unofficial start of the league new year. It’s the first time that team staffers are in the same building preparing for the NFL Draft that takes place on April 23rd. The combine isn’t what Patriots fans are really honing in on though. A new report from Ian Rapoport has noted that Don Yee, Tom Brady’s agent, and the New England Patriots are planning to meet at the NFL combine this week to discuss a new deal.
To think that it has gone on this long? Incredible. For all we know, the two parties have not spoken about any sort of new deal for the six time Super Bowl champion since the one back in August where we were all hoodwinked and bamboozled into thinking Brady and the Patriots were a love that could not be broken, until we read into it and saw it was just a pay bump to put us in this situation today. Where in just three weeks the contract expires.
Patriots CEO Robert Kraft has expressed that he wants Tom Brady to go to the open market. All the while saying “You know what I said to myself? That any person who plays 20 years for this team and helps us get to nine Super Bowls, and been really selfless, has earned that right. I love the young man like he’s part of my family. Blood family. Anyone who’s done that has earned the right to control his future after 20 years. And you know, my hope and prayer is number one, he play for the Patriots. Or number two, he retires. He has the freedom to decide what he wants to do and what’s in his own best personal interest.” in an interview around the time the Patriots lost to the Tennessee Titans in the wild card round.
The rumors have swarmed us with who’s going to pay Tom Brady, where he is, if he’s looking at schools, where is he moving? You can catch all of them elsewhere, I’m not putting it all together just to re-live. Personally I am ready to hear what Brady wants to do and if the Patriots have the same idea. My thoughts here are this : Does everybody win if Tom Brady comes back to play in Gillette Stadium?
What does Tom Brady come back to? Well, the best coach in NFL history, his longtime offensive coordinator and his best friend and best receiver. After that? A whole bunch of unknowns. OG Joe Thuney isn’t expected to get resigned before March 18th, he’s probably going to get paid. Mohamed Sanu has turned out to be an absolute BUST of a trade. The run game is still suspect and Sony Michel has been just another guy, not a first round pick. The WR core past Edelman is eyebrow raising. With only a little over $29 Million in cap space with contracts still needing to go out for guys like DT Danny Shelton, LB Jamie Collins, hopefully OG Joe Thuney (probably not though) and team captain FS Devin McCourty, it’s not likely that Brady gets a mega deal.
I’d argue that Brady’s best interests aren’t with New England despite those three key things I pointed to at first. Brady won’t be paid like a top end QB like he reportedly wants, he won’t have high end weapons even if he resigns here with the relatively low cap space the Pats have, but he still wins here. If that’s the biggest thing still in his career. A weak AFC East where the Bills are the only team coming at them, who still have some growing pains to undergo. If he wants the easy ride to the playoffs, it’s here in New England. The roster doesn’t tell us that the 2020-21 New England Patriots are a Super Bowl team.
Now, is it in the teams best interest to bring back the GOAT himself? I’d say so. The open market isn’t too kind. With rumors of Andy Dalton being the heir apparent to TB12. Leaves a bad taste in every Patriots fans mouth, and ejects laughter from the other 31 NFL franchises who are so sick and tired of the winning. The other options just aren’t as good. Meanwhile I seriously doubt Jarrett Stidham is ready. Along with anybody we could draft in this class (as much as I love Jake Fromm of Georgia, he isn’t a day one starter). Keeping Brady would be in the teams best interests. Though I doubt the fall is so severe without Brady under center. I’m of the belief that an Andy Dalton level QB could still garner anywhere between 9-11 wins with our weak division and still maybe pull out an AFC East championship.
It saddens me to think about though. Boston Globe writer Chad Finn put it perfectly when talking about his age 42 season. “He wasn’t his old self, but he wasn’t over the hill either. He needs more help these days, but he can still play.” I agree so much with this statement. Do the Patriots have the ability to give him that help? It’s all very reminiscent of the Boston Red Sox last week trading away Mookie Betts to the LA Dodgers for a couple prospects because they couldn’t afford him. Do you have to let go of the generational talent because you can’t afford him or to get the help around them? It’s up for debate.
As a fan of the Patriots and Tom Brady, I would love to bring the old man back. He’s not playing terribly. He’s still a top half QB if not even more so. The stats say so! 4,000 yards with 28 TDs and just eight picks. He’s taken a few steps back, but let’s not pretend he isn’t a worthy investment. If you are the Chargers or the Titans? You are ABSOLUTELY gunning for TB12. He is an instant upgrade. Even Anthony Lynn has said “Everything’s on the table.” At the pre-combine meetings on Tuesday. Even giving a shout out to Brady when asked about wanting a mobile QB saying “I want a winning quarterback. You don’t have to be mobile.” He went on “I believe that guy in New England won a lot, he wasn’t very mobile.” A quote worth a fine for tampering in the NBA. Pen the Chargers down as interested on your betting odds.
At the end of the day, the two sides are split and the end game is going to be this, what are the Patriots capable and winning to promise Tom Brady for next season as far as contracts and talent around him? Then what is the open market? What’s Tom Brady’s average offer and how much more significant are these offers than the Patriots offer? We’ll see come March 18th, as long as the new league year isn’t delayed.
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