According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots are willing to extend themselves and pay more than $30 million to retain Brady. This report comes just days after it had been initially reported that the Patriots were willing to pay Brady $30 million.
“To me, the owner makes decisions like this. From my understanding, the Patriots ownership, who writes the checks, is willing to pay Brady more than $30 million,” Rapoport said Thursday on WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe.” “There’s obviously a lot more to it than that, but my issue, or my sort of report, was basically that the Patriots want Tom Brady. They are willing to go where they have not gone before to keep him. I think Tom Curran had a similar report saying the Patriots would extend themselves, which I believe is true also.”
Patriots Willing to Break Bank for Brady
Rapoport continued to stress that money is not an issue for New England when it comes to re-signing Brady. Despite the fact that the most Brady has earned with the Patriots is $23 million a season — his salary in 2019 — New England is willing to go far and beyond that to please their franchise quarterback.
“To me, this is not a situation where they’re gonna go, ‘Alright, the most we’ve paid you is $22.5 million or whatever it is, we’re sticking to that.’ This is something where they want Tom Brady to return, they think they can get him back, and they’re willing to go where they have not gone to do it.”
Belichick and Kraft Are on the Same Page
It had also been cited several days prior that head coach Bill Belichick would make the final call on whether or not Brady would return to New England. As Rapoport states, he believes that Belichick and owner Robert Kraft are on the same page when it comes to how much they’d be willing to pay the 42-year-old quarterback.
” … I don’t believe that Belichick and Kraft are on different pages as far as what they’d be willing to pay Tom Brady. I have not heard that. It would be a surprise to me if that was true,” Rapoport said Thursday. “I also know that — look, we’ve seen Brady deal with his contract situation in the past. He has never demanded top dollar. He’s always wanted to make whatever money he makes, but to make sure they have weapons. It seems to me like making sure the team is better is as important, if not more important, to Brady than maximizing every dollar.”
Free agency is more than a month away and the Brady reports are limitless. While Rapoport is indicating that the Patriots are willing to do whatever it takes to bring back to the six-time Super Bowl champion, Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports stated a different tune.
While Curran did report that Belichick would prefer Brady return under center for the 2020 season, he also stated that the head coach would have no problem moving on from his franchise quarterback of the past 20 years.
All of these reports are interesting. But the bottom line is, there’s a lot of time between now and free agency.
In other words, don’t expect a final decision from Brady or the Patriots until March swings around.