The New England Patriots still aren’t sure who will be their quarterback for the 2020 season.
During comments in his media conference with the press on Sunday, Belichick did not commit to Brady as his quarterback of the 2020 season. Furthermore, he said whether or not Brady returns to the Patriots for a 21st season is a “two-way street” issue.
The comments are telling considering Brady will be a free agent this year and considering New England hadn’t held discussions with the veteran QB regarding a contract extension since August.
When you factor in that Brady will be 43 years old next season — by far the oldest skill position player in the league — and that his performance did deteriorate as the season wore on, Belichick’s comments are very telling.
Belichick did maintain that he doesn’t discuss the future of any of his players right after the season ends.
Considering Brady’s comments following the Patriots’ loss to the Titans, this should be one very interesting offseason for New England.
Tom Brady Reiterates Desire to Return
It looks like Brady isn’t going anywhere.
While the veteran QB refused to all-out commit to next season, he did say it’s “pretty unlikely” he retires.
Via Conor Roche of The Boston Globe:
“I would say it’s pretty unlikely, hopefully unlikely,” Brady said when asked in his postgame press conference if there was any possibility.
“I love the Patriots,” Brady said. “It’s the greatest organization. Playing for Mr. [Robert] Kraft all of these years and for Coach [Bill] Belichick, there’s nobody who has had a better career I would say than me, just being with them. I’m very blessed.”
“I don’t know what the future looks like, and I’m not going to predict it. I wish we would’ve won tonight. I wish we did a lot of things better over the course of the season, but we just didn’t get the job done.”
As crazy as it may sound, there is the possibility that Brady could just leave the Patriots. If New England doesn’t want him back or they have an issue with paying a 43-year-old QB between $25-to-$35 million per season, Brady would have no choice but to play for another team if he wants to prolong his NFL career.
Possible options include the likes of the Los Angeles Chargers, the Indianapolis Colts and even Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ next NFL team. McDaniels is currently being linked to head coaching positions with the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.
How To Interpret Brady and Belichick’s Comments
When reading Brady and Belichick’s comments, it’s interesting to see one parallel — their refusal to commit to one another for the 2020 season.
If the Patriots wanted Brady for sure for the 2020 season, they would have signed him already or at least committed to him. Brady seems to be well aware of this which is why he refused to predict his future in his postgame comments.
In other words, Brady is leaving his future with the Patriots in the hands of Belichick and owner Robert Kraft.
One thing is for certain — the possibility that Brady plays for another NFL team next season is very much there.