The New England Patriots, along with the collective NFL, are in the midst of an unprecedented offseason as QB Tom Brady is set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his 20-year career. The 42-year-old signal caller won’t officially hit the open market until March 18, but has already been linked to a handful of teams, including the Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans, among others.
In his Sunday morning column on ESPN, Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss highlighted an interesting text exchange between former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and Brady, as revealed by Weis on Sirius XM NFL Radio’s “Opening Drive” program on March 5.
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“I do have one bit of scoop for us,” said Weis. “I’ve been texting with Tommy. I don’t [usually] pass along these conversations, but one thing he told me — ‘Nobody knows anything. So anyone who is telling you they know, they don’t know.’ I’m not going through any other part of the conversation [but] I followed up and he said, ‘Clean it up.’ So I’m cleaning it up.”
This isn’t the first time that Weis, who spent five seasons working directly with Brady from 2000-04, has shared details of a previous text exchange with the three-time league MVP. In early February, the 63-year-old coach revealed that Brady “wouldn’t play for the money at this point.”
I texted him when they picked the top 100 … and said ‘Congrats.’ He said ‘For what?’ I said for being part of the top 100 and then on top of it, [some in the media] picked you to be the starter. He goes, ‘You know the only thing I’m worrying about is a ring.’ That kind of sums it up. He wants to win another championship. That’s why he’s still playing. He wouldn’t play for money at this point.
Despite split opinions on Brady’s future in New England, it’s highly unlikely to see any progress made before a decision is made on the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, which players are currently voting on until March 12 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
QB Coach Calls Brady’s Backup a ‘Star’
No matter which uniform Brady dons next season, Jarrett Stidham will return to New England for his sophomore campaign. The Patriots’ 2019 fourth-round pick (No. 133 overall) is the top in-house candidate to replace Brady should he depart.
Speaking to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Jordan Palmer, the brother of former No. 1 overall pick Carson Palmer and Stidham’s throwing coach at QB Summit in California, shared strong belief in his client’s ability and potential.
“To be clear, I think he is a star, and he is going to be a big-time franchise quarterback,” Palmer told Howe. “I have felt that way for a couple years now. I’m totally fine saying that. I don’t care that he went fourth round (of the 2019 draft). I think he is legitimate. He is going to be the leader of New England for a long time, whenever that starts. Go ahead and jump on that bandwagon.”
The 23-year-old saw action in three games during his rookie year, completing a pair of passes before giving up a pick-six in relief against the New York Jets in Week 3. Stidham did show some promising development in the preseason, however, and should have the opportunity to prove himself as a starter in the near future.
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