According to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Patriots don’t want to await Brady’s decision after the free agency period begins on March 16. They want an answer from Brady before the period begins.
Because they don’t want to be left with no free agency options if Brady does retire or bolts for another team after the free agency period begins. This is what happened when Rob Gronkowski elected to retire in late March — which left the Patriots with no options at tight end in free agency.
“Here’s the situation: I don’t believe the New England Patriots are waiting until March 16 to get an answer from Tom Brady,” he said. “Last year, Rob Gronkowski wound up retiring in late March. I don’t know the conversations they did and didn’t have before, but New England missed the window on free-agent tight ends. So I don’t think they’re going to let Tom Brady go to free agency, all of a sudden, sign with Team X, and then on March 20, say ‘Well, what do we do at quarterback now?’ That’s not the way that organization operates.”
Why Brady Waiting on Decision Would Hurt Patriots
Losing Brady would be a monumental blow for the franchise. He’s arguably the greatest quarterback of all time and has won more Super Bowls than any player (six) in NFL history. However, the only thing worse than losing Brady is losing him when you can’t replace him with an adequate quarterback.
Can you imagine if Brady signs with a team like the Los Angeles Chargers in late March and most — if not all — of the top free agent quarterbacks have signed with other teams?
It’s clear that the Patriots want Brady’s decision on a return sooner rather than later. We’ll see if Brady gives New England what they wants so they can properly prepare for their future.
Devin McCourty Wants To Return
One former Patriots Pro Bowler has made his decision on whether or not he’ll play during the 2020 season. That’s none other than two-time Pro Bowler Devin McCourty.
The 10-year veteran’s agent, Andy Simms, expressed his client’s desire to return for an 11th season.
“He wants to play,” McCourty’s agent, Andy Simms, told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Retirement is not an option.”
The 32-year-old has played his entire career in New England since being selected with a late first-round draft selection during the 2010 NFL Draft.
Although he wants to return to the Patriots, McCourty acknowledged that he doesn’t know what his NFL future holds — meaning he doesn’t even know if he’ll return to New England.
He shared that very viewpoint during the “Double Coverage” podcast.
“No one really knows what’s going to happen. I would say most teams really don’t even think about free agency for a couple weeks; I would say the beginning of March … So you think where you could go, will you be on your team again? But there’s really nothing [definitive] to think about.”
McCourty has served as the team’s defensive captain for eight of his 10 seasons and started all 16 games at free safety in 2019.