Today the news broke that Tom Brady is unlikely to give the New England Patriots a “hometown discount” in free agency this offseason. This according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. What this means is that if the Patriots want to keep Brady around, they will have to pay him market value.
Brady threw for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns, and eight interceptions with a 60.8 completion percentage in 16 starts this season. Brady has only had under 4,100 passing yards twice since 2010. The only other time was in 2016 when he had 3,554 yards. 24 touchdowns is also the lowest number he’s had since 2003 when he only threw 23.
Patriots fans will fight tooth and nail that it’s the weapons around him that made him look bad this season. Brady didn’t look like he even wanted to try most of the time on third down. No matter what the play was or how it unfolded, he just didn’t try. The loss to the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card round was highly expected by most everyone.
In his post game interview, Brady stated that he is “very unlikely” to retire leaving the door open for a return. This also leaves the door open for a new team to acquire his services. The question now becomes what is market value for a soon to be 43 year old QB who is highly regarded as the greatest of all time?
There are 24 teams in the league who currently have at least $30 million in cap room going into the offseason. If we use common sense and assume no one with under $40 million will inquire about his services that leaves 21 teams. Now let’s take away all the teams who have a viable option already at QB and that leaves us with:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The most likely option is still that he returns to the Patriots. If Bill Belichick is willing to open up the checkbook for Brady, I guarantee he will return. That is very unlike the Patriots but if emotion gets in the way, which it will, Tom Brady will return to the Patriots in 2020. New England has $49 million free but have a lot of key free agents such as Brady, Kyle Van Noy, and Devin McCourty. The Patriots would have to let them go to rebuild the weapons core for him.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
The Chargers are in a QB issue of their own. Phillip Rivers is also a free agent although it’s likely he decides to retire. They are also in a business predicament. The city of Los Angeles just doesn’t care about them. What better way to sell some tickets than bringing in one of the best players ever. Oh, did I forget to mention he is also from the Los Angeles area? Aside from Keenan Allen, they don’t have many weapons left on the team for next season.
The Titans are an intriguing situation as they could easily just keep Ryan Tannehill and draft a Rookie to redshirt for next season. Head Coach Mike Vrabel and Tom Brady are good friends and the Titans are at least in the second round of the playoffs with $48.2 million free once the offseason kicks in. A solid young WR core and Derrick Henry in the backfield could be huge for Brady.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Derek Carr is the current face of the Raiders, however, that has proven to be a failed project. The Raiders have $67.5 million free and John Gruden would love to bring in a new QB for the first season in Vegas. This is the highly unlikely option due to the fact that Gruden can’t admit when he is wrong and he called Carr the next big thing before he got the job with the Raiders.
This is another unlikely situation given the fact that after Andrew Luck retired they put all their eggs in the Jacoby Brissett basket. They would be able to handle both QB’s on the roster with their $92.9 million freed up cap space. Brady is a huge upgrade over Brissett and would have instant weapons to throw the ball too, at least more than the Patriots have.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The Bucs have the fourth most money going into this offseason with a whopping $87.5 million. Jameis Winston is likely to be franchised tagged, and if that happens, then I have absolutely zero belief that Brady ends up here. It is a possibility due to the fact that they need a QB and I’m not willing to say anything is impossible. The Buccaneers also have the best WR core in the league with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
The Drew Brees contract and potentially the Phillip Rivers contract will be a solid base for what Brady could get on the open market. Whatever teams decides to take his services will have to pay him in the ball park of $60 million over two years with at least $40 million guaranteed.
Picture Source: NBCBoston.com
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