Tom Brady’s future with the New England Patriots is looking more doubtful than ever after his long-awaited conversation with Bill Belichick.
According to The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian, the franchise’s two most recognizable names connected over the phone on Tuesday afternoon and spoke for the first time about Brady’s pending free agency, but a source revealed their talk “didn’t go well.” Guregian’s source didn’t elaborate much on what transpired during the conversation, only noting it wasn’t productive on the subjects of Brady’s contract situation and the Patriots’ plans for the future.
Brady has been one of the most widely-discussed free agents set to hit the market this offseason with more signs than ever before suggesting the four-time Super Bowl MVP is interested in moving on after 20 seasons in New England. The Patriots could very well still re-sign their coveted quarterback to a new contract, but Guregian’s source said the market has been “very good” for Brady with multiple teams showing interest.
NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran also reported on the Brady-Belichick conversation, citing a source that seemed to confirm the unproductive tone of the conversation. The source said the impression drawn was Belichick took an all-business approach during their phone call and spoke as if Brady was “still under contract” — which is technically true considering contracts don’t expire until the start of the new league year on March 18.
The Patriots have expressed an interest in re-signing Brady throughout the offseason, but talks will have to start moving quickly — and more productively — if they intend on keeping him around.
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Latest Rumors Link Brady to San Francisco 49ers
Guregian and Curran also both separately explored an interesting scenario earlier this week that would see Brady land with the San Francisco 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo make his return to New England after a short time away.
Curran said he believed the 49ers were “closing hard on the outside” in a recent SiriusXM NFL radio interview, which prompted Guregian to consult her sources, who said he “might be onto something.”
The 49ers would be instant contenders in the Brady free-agency sweepstakes as one of last year’s two Super Bowl teams and weapons in line with what Brady has been seeking to bring to the Patriots. Beyond that, the Bay Area was home to Brady in his younger years and could make for quite the final chapter in his legendary NFL career.
Don’t let that fairytale bubble get too big just yet, though. Others around the industry have struggled to confirm a connection between Brady and the 49ers, including NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. He said Wednesday afternoon on NFL Now that he has “not been able to substantiate any interest from the 49ers’ standpoint.”
“I imagine this would be something that Tom Brady would probably like,” Rapoport said on NFL Now. It’s actually something that both teams could do. Jimmy Garoppolo could potentially land back in New England. His contract is very tradable, the Patriots obviously like him. However, the only problem is the 49ers like Jimmy Garoppolo, too. He helped lead them to a Super Bowl, they have been very vocal — Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have been very local in their support of Jimmy Garoppolo. From what I understand, that has not changed at all. So while this is theoretically possible and fun to talk about, I haven’t found anything to substantiate it at this point.”