According to the latest report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, neither side has engaged in any discussion regarding Brady’s new contract.
“Not contractually — they haven’t had negotiations,” Schefter said. “They haven’t sat down to have the conversation they need to have — ‘Hey, what do you want to do?’ I am sure they are talking generally. Yeah, I am sure. They were at the Super Bowl on Sunday together.”
Schefter Expects Deadline For Brady’s Answer
As if that news wasn’t startling enough, Schefter then proceeded to give a deadline as to when fans may be able to expect a decision from both sides– by March 1.
“Before we get to March 1, I think New England and Tom Brady will figure out if they’re going to stick together or move apart,” Schefter said on WEEI. “I think they have to do that. I think the Patriots need clarity about if they’re going to have their quarterback in place or whether they need to be making contingency plans to move on and to figure out what they’re going to do at the position. The position is just too important for them not to have that clarity early on. … Maybe it goes to March 7 or something. I’m not giving you a hard and fast deadline.”
One only has to think back to last year when Rob Gronkowski gave his official decision on retirement in late March. The problem with giving the Patriots that answer in late March is that it happened after all of the top tight ends had been signed.
It left the Patriots in a vulnerable position. New England ended up convincing 39-year-old Benjamin Watson to come out of retirement and the Patriots went with a trio of Watson, Matt Izzo and Ryan LaCosse as the starting tight ends. Needless to say, it wasn’t very productive.
The Patriots will look to avoid a similar predicament this offseason when it comes to the future of Brady and their quarterback situation.
Could Teddy Bridgewater Replace Tom Brady?
One idea gaining steam is the notion that the Patriots could replace Brady with a veteran quarterback.
In Shiel Kapadia’s of The Athletic’s latest article, Kapadia suggests that the Patriots will sign Teddy Bridgewater to replace Brady — who he predicts will sign with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Kapadia then outlines what would transpire between the veteran Bridgewater and quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who will be entering his second season next year.
“In Bridgewater, the Patriots could land a starting option who would not break the bank. Bridgewater has the intangibles in terms of leadership and work ethic that Belichick may find appealing. And he’s not the type of quarterback that will lose the game with mistakes. In five starts with the Saints last season, Bridgewater posted a 1.0 percent interception rate and he fumbled just once. It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation.
The Patriots can bring Bridgewater in and let him compete with Stidham. If they see someone they like in the draft, they can take another swing there. Bridgewater is hitting free agency in a year when teams have a lot of quarterback options. New England could be one of his best chances to start.” Kapadia explains.
Bridgewater went 5-0 with the New Orleans Saints while filling in for the injured Drew Brees last season. He’s also a former Pro Bowler, having led the Minnesota Vikings to a playoff berth back in 2015.