On Thursday, reports began to surface that Tom Brady is preparing to leave the New England Patriots.
For starters, ESPN.com reported that the six-time Super Bowl champion and three-time MVP “is currently operating under the belief that he will enter free agency to play somewhere” in 2020.
A source told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald that New England hasn’t held contract talks with Brady’s group, and the chances of him returning to Foxborough are “not looking good.”
Of course, discussions between the NFL and the NFLPA over a new CBA have played a role in the Patriots’ decision to not hold contract talks with TB12 yet. If that matter is resolved, they could manage to work out a deal before free agency begins on March 18.
Despite the reports of Brady potentially leaving Foxborough, The Action Network lists the Patriots as a giant betting favorite at -175 to retain the future Hall of Famer.
The Tennessee Titans – who have long been mentioned as a possible suitor for Brady – are a distant second at +380, followed by the Las Vegas Raiders at +500. The Los Angeles Chargers – another team heavily linked to Brady – are listed at +600.
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On Thursday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that Brady’s camp has talked to the Colts, Chargers and Raiders in Indianapolis, the site of the NFL combine. Interestingly, Rapoport recently reported that the Colts are the “most likely option” for fellow free agent and perennial Pro Bowler Philip Rivers.
At any rate, there will be no shortage of interested teams in Brady. Even teams that aren’t in desperate need of a new quarterback may find themselves pushing hard for his services, because multi-time Super Bowl winners don’t hit the market too often.
Brady and the Patriots have enjoyed the greatest stretch run by any NFL franchise in the Super Bowl era, but all good things must come to an end. Their 20-year partnership, for all we know, is only three weeks away from ending. Stay tuned.
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