According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, both sides have “not engaged in trade talks” since the end of the 2019 season. The Patriots’ season ended more than a month prior in their Wild Card playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans.
What type of progress has been made in contract negotiations?
None. As of late last week, the sides had not engaged in contract talks, per sources. But as Brady noted in his Super Bowl LIV interview on Westwood One, there is open dialogue between him and the Patriots, which reflects that the situation is without animosity. “They know how I feel about them. I know how they feel about me. We’ve always had a great relationship. We always will,” Brady said.
This isn’t exactly the most positive of news, but it also isn’t the most surprising. Free agency doesn’t begin until March 16 and previous reports had indicated that Brady had a supposed deadline of until the beginning of March to inform the Patriots what his future is.
Peter King Guesses When Brady Will Come to Decision
In fact, NBC Sports’ Peter King pushes the deadline even further, saying that he believes Brady has until March 12 or 13 to let the Patriots know what he plans to do for the 2020 season.
“There’s two phases,” Mike Florio said on NBC Sports. “Is he going to go back to the Patriots? That’s phase one. I think as a practical matter, that’s the ship that has to sail before March the 16th. You either sign with the Patriots or you embark on the Reggie White, Peyton Manning free agency tour. I don’t think the Patriots are still in play once the boat is out of the harbor. Do you agree with me on that?
“Probably,” King replied “Probably, but I’m just going to say this, Mike. I don’t think that in this particular case anything is set in stone, but I do have a pretty good feeling that we’ll probably get to March 12th or 13th and know if there’s any chance he’s going to go back to the Patriots.”
Why Brady Should Notify Patriots of Future Plans
The deadline for when Brady should notify the Patriots of his future plans is important. That would be because if he chooses to leave, New England needs to be able to plan for the future — which means signing a veteran quarterback in free agency.
The franchise was not afforded that opportunity when Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement in late March last offseason. Because of the timing of the announcement, New England couldn’t sign a viable replacement.
Instead, they lured the 38-year-old Benjamin Watson out of retirement and he eventually emerged as the team’s starting tight end by season’s end. We obviously saw how that worked out.
The Patriots are avoiding a similar type of predicament this year. No one knows the exact direction Brady is leaning towards, but it’s clear he’s not showing any favoritism towards New England at the moment.