The New England Patriots is barely underway and Tom Brady remains without a contract for the 2020 season. Reports of his family suite at Gillette Stadium being cleaned out and his family moving into their Greenwich, Connecticut home dominated the news this week.
But those reports far from indicate Brady is on his way out of New England. And with Josh McDaniels staying put with the Patriots, Brady’s chances of a return have increased. Though some suggest there may be a rift forming between the two, it may influence Brady’s desire to play somewhere he feels comfortable.
Pro Football Hall-of-Fame wide receiver and current NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin agrees. Speaking with Boston radio station WEEI’s Dale & Keefe midday show on Friday, Irvin touched on where he thinks the quarterback will land next season.
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Not Your Typical Free Agent
Irvin’s main argument for Brady returning to the Patriots is that he would be playing in a place with other key pieces who know and understand the team’s offense and the quarterback’s individual tendencies.
Here’s what Irvin had to say:
I see more so now that all the head coaching jobs are filled and Josh [McDaniels] is still right where he is. I still think that leads to Tom Brady being back with the Patriots. Tom may be doing some business right here where he’s negotiating and moving his house. And I saw he moved to Connecticut but if anything else, it’s an overhaul. If Tom goes to play anywhere, you have to bring in some guys who know his offense and that implement what he does so you’re not getting a 40-something-year-old man, you’re getting some years of experience. That’s what you’re selling if you pay for Tom Brady to leave New England, you’re not just paying for the 40-year-old body but the 20 years of experience so you’ve got to bring everything with you.
A lot of fuss was made about Brady taking awhile to gain the trust of his young receivers in the 2019 season. Undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers even went as far as to say it was the hardest thing for him to do upon joining the roster.
Should Brady find himself playing for a new team next year, he would have to gain the trust of an entirely new receiving corps without his confidant Julian Edelman in the mix.
Can New England Afford Brady?
If Brady decides he wants to play in New England for a few more years, the Patriots would spare no expense to bring him back aboard. But his contract may cost the Patriots a chance at bringing in a couple other high-priced free agents.
Should Brady ink a two-year deal for $50 million, it would incur an annual cap hit of $25 million plus an additional $6.5 million in dead cap from his three-year deal with void years he signed in August.
Brady has made it clear he prioritizes having a strong supporting cast over getting a top-paying contract, though the quarterback would still likely run a pretty penny.