Despite the coronavirus outbreak, the new NFL league year officially started today. So far, plenty of moves have been made. The Cincinnati Bengals franchise tagged wide receiver A.J. Green. The Cleveland Browns made Austin Hooper the leagues highest paid tight end as well as signing tackle Jack Conklin to a deal. The Houston Texans also traded stud wideout DeAndre Hopkins for a couple of kicking tees. With all that being said, the biggest domino on the free agent market is still waiting to fall: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is still available.
Before the offseason plenty of people speculated about where Brady would end up playing in 2020. The Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Los Angeles Chargers – as well as the Patriots – have all been deemed viable suitors. But after yesterday and today, those teams have dwindled.
Ryan Tannehill signed a mega-deal with the Titans to stay in Tennessee. The Raiders haven’t really appeared to be all that interested in the signal caller. So right now it looks like Brady’s market consists of the Chargers, Buccaneers, and Pats.
The tampering window has opened and #Patriots QB Tom Brady’s agent can hear from teams. My understanding: The #Chargers and #Bucs will inquire, and of course New England wants him back. That is Brady’s market as of right now.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2020
And like Rapoport mentions in his tweet above, the Patriots apparently want Brady back, but after what has transpired for them this offseason I don’t think that is the case.
So far, New England has signed special teamer Matthew Slater, safety Devin McCourty, and franchise tagged guard Joe Thuney.
. @patscap has the Patriots at $21.3M in cap space, and that doesn’t account for Matthew Slater or Devin McCourty’s deals.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) March 15, 2020
And that cap space doesn’t account for the now franchised Thuney who will be making nearly $15 million this season. Does this mean head coach Bill Belichick is expecting Brady to come back for pennies on the dollar after he has done that his entire career? I honestly don’t think the “G.O.A.T.” wants anything to do with that. This is his first real time in free agency and he has been adamant about testing the market.
Talking to team sources who have interest in Tom Brady and the feeling right now is “nobody knows what Brady is going to do”
— Dianna (@diannaESPN) March 16, 2020
This saga has been unfolding for quite some time now, but I think at this point the writing is on the wall. Belichick does not want to pay a 43-year-old quarterback $30 million a year. To him, It is a business to him and doesn’t care what you did in the past. Belichick cares about the future. And if teams like the Chargers and Buccaneers (who already have plenty of weapons) are willing to give the six-time Super Bowl champion what he wants, it may be time for Pats fans to sayonara to their golden boy.
#Patriots beat reporter @MikeReiss on free agent Tom Brady’s destination:
“There’s a place here (Foxboro) for Brady if he wants it. I’m starting to question if he really wants it.”
Added #Bucs made an “aggressive initial offer” to TB12.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) March 16, 2020