Patriots Appear to Set Deadline on Tom Brady’s Decision

Tom Brady

Getty The Patriots want a decision from Tom Brady before free agency.

The New England Patriots appear to have set a deadline on when they want an answer from Tom Brady.

As the veteran quarterback continues to ponder his football future as a free agent, the Patriots expect to have some form of answer from Brady before the start of free agency, according to Michael Giardi of NFL Network.

Why the Patriots Want an Answer Before Free Agency

With the start of NFL free agency being on March 18, that would mean New England would want to know where Brady is leaning towards before that date.

It’s one thing if Brady leaves the Patriots, but it’s a whole different disaster if the 42-year-old quarterback leaves deep into free agency. That could mean top free quarterbacks such as Teddy Bridgewater, Ryan Tannehill and Marcus Mariota could be off of the market by that point in time.

The Patriots faced a similar predicament last year when Rob Gronkowski didn’t announce his retirement until March 24. Because Gronkowski announced his decision deep into free agency, the Patriots were never able to fill his void at tight end with an adequate replacement.

One sign of positive news for the Patriots is that they plan on hitting the negotiating table with Brady within the next couple of weeks.

Via Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston:

So where do things currently stand? After conversations over the past few days, this is my understanding of where things are.

Negotiations will begin “in a couple of weeks.” I interpret that as during or immediately after the NFL Combine which starts about February 26 and concludes March 1.

Teams such as the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans are also expected to make a run at Brady.

Derrick Henry Doesn’t Like Idea of Titans Pursuing Brady

If there is one person in Tennessee who doesn’t like the idea of the Titans pursuing Brady, it’s none other than star running back Derrick Henry.

While doing an interview with Taylor Lewan and Will Compton on the “Bussin With the Boys” podcast, the Pro Bowl running back dismissed the logic of signing Brady when the team is coming off of an AFC Championship Game appearance with Tannehill as the starting quarterback.

“[Brady] still can play,” Henry said, via Pro Football Talk. “Obviously, age doesn’t matter for him, he’s still playing at a high level, but my question would be: Why ain’t Ryan good enough, you know? . . . Speaking for everyone on the offense, we fed off of him . . . Ryan Tannehill is our quarterback and went to the AFC Championship, why would we not want Ryan back?”

Henry has a point — especially when one considers Tannehill is coming off of a Pro Bowl campaign and a season in which he led the league in both passer rating and yards per attempt. The fact that he’s also 11 years younger than Brady and is already familiar with the Titans’ offensive system shouldn’t be dismissed.

However, it’s not every day you come across a six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback on the open market. It also doesn’t hurt that Brady played with Titans head coach Mike Vrabel for eight seasons in New England.

While Henry may not like the idea of Tennessee possibly replacing their current starting quarterback with a new one, you also can’t blame the Titans for thinking about it.

Especially when that quarterback is Brady.

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