According to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, just as Brady is seeing what his options are out there, so are the Patriots.
“There is a pretty good reason that owner Robert Kraft and Tom Brady have worked closely on several deals in the past. There is a reason why the option was to allow Brady to test free agency, to not get franchised, to not get transitioned, just to have a clear path toward free agency,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said.
“And from what I understand, Kraft’s thinking on this was basically if the sides came together, if Brady decided that the Patriots were his best option after testing free agency and if Bill Belichick, who of course is making the decisions for New England, if he decides that Brady is his best option at this price, then in the end after all of this, after going through everything, that it will mean that it’s basically meant to be and that it’s the best thing for all sides. Kraft wanted them to get apart, to see what’s out there and try to come together in the middle. And the hope is if that works out for 2020 that everyone will be happy they went through the process.”
Patriots Wanted to Have Options
Long story short, this was a deal made to give both sides options heading into the 2020 offseason.
With that being said, it may not end up being the smartest of moves by the New England front office. That would be because the Patriots don’t have any proven backups to take over in a scenario where Brady leaves New England.
While one could argue the Patriots could simply look for a quarterback via free agency, that doesn’t mean the team will replicate their level of success. After all, Brady is a six-time Super Bowl champion and has never had a losing season during his career as a starter.
It remains to be seen where both sides will end up, but giving Brady the type of deal where he can’t be franchise tagged was designed to give both sides flexibility.
We’ll see if the two sides end up coming back together for a 21st season in 2020.
Brett Favre Vigorously Defends Tom Brady
Speaking of Brady, it’s no secret that the 20-year veteran is quite the old man in today’s NFL.
At the age of 42, Brady is the oldest non-kicker in the NFL. He also just so happens to be coming off of one of the worst seasons of his career in which he ranked in the bottom six of the league’s starting quarterbacks in completion percentage and yards per attempts.
Needless to say, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre knows a thing or two about playing well into his 40’s. Favre arguably had the best season of his career at the age of 40 as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
As Brady enters what will be his age-43 season, Favre argues that the veteran quarterback didn’t slow down a bit in 2019. In fact, he argues that Brady’s supporting cast led to his decline in production.
“I feel the same way this year. I hear lots of people, so-called experts, say that his age is catching up with him. I didn’t see that. I saw a quarterback still able to do what he normally does, but the cast around him was not up to par. … I didn’t see any decline in his arm strength. He’s not a mobile quarterback, even in his prime. To say he’s not moving as well as he once did, that’s ridiculous. He never moved well. You protect him, you get guys open — how many times did we see Tom frustrated this year because guys weren’t on the same page? You know in previous years, guys were on the same page because he wasn’t showing that frustration. I think his game is as good as it’s ever been. His cast, I don’t want to say it’s not as good, I just think it’s inexperienced.”
Considering the amount of teams reportedly interested in Brady, Favre isn’t the only one that shares this sentiment.