Throughout the entire process over the last few months, the New England Patriots have remained well entrenched as being the landing spot for Tom Brady in his next contract. However, there has remained growing chatter that Brady has played his final game with the franchise with potential options in the free-agent market for the first time in his career. It all comes back to the simple fact that it’s hard to envision him playing anywhere else aside from New England. However, his fate in New England could be out of his hands entirely due to one clear and firm reason.
Patriots prominent in Tom Brady’s decision-making process
For the first time in his illustrious career, Brady has an opportunity in front of him to explore the free-agent market.
The 42-year-old will have the chance to explore his options without any hindrance of a franchise tag from the Patriots. There will be several teams such as the Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Indianapolis Colts in the picture. However, New England has remained a prominent fixture in the entire process.
Brady has spent the last two decades with the franchise, where he has experienced a tremendous amount of success that is highlighted by earning six Super Bowl wins. He has garnered a strong bond with the franchise that, combined with all of the other factors, makes it extremely reasonable to believe he will return.
Nonetheless, that choice could be one that he has no control over his fate in that regard.
What may keep Tom Brady from Patriots’ return
Although there is a growing belief that Brady could be out the door with the Patriots, that notion has remained some hesitation.
That has, in large part, been due to team owner Robert Kraft’s persistent comments about keeping Brady for the remainder of his career. However, Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston is reporting that Kraft won’t force head coach Bill Belichick’s hand to keep the six-time Super Bowl champion in New England.
The Patriots, as we first reported Super Bowl Sunday are willing to “extend” themselves to get a deal done. And if the gap between Brady and the team is narrow, then Kraft will actively encourage both Brady and Bill Belichick to bridge that gap.
But we confirmed this week what we were told a month ago: that if it’s a chasm – and real negotiations have yet to begin – Kraft will not intercede despite his long-stated preference that Brady retires a Patriot.
That changes the dynamic a bit as there was rumored chatter that Kraft played a significant part in the Patriots’ decision to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers. He has since denied it, and this new report further suggests that Belichick will have the final say in bringing back Brady.
It could come down to whether Belichick believes the star quarterback can continue to put the franchise in the firm position to compete for the Super Bowl.
Has Tom Brady played his last game with Patriots?
There is still much that will unfold with the situation, but it’s becoming more clearer that Brady’s decision could be swift.
Whatever route that the Patriots take with Belichick, it will send an evident message of what he believes Brady can offer at this point in his career. Kraft may have a strong desire to bring back his longtime quarterback, but that decision is one that he has taken the path of letting his head coach make the final call.
Only time will tell if Brady has truly played in his final game with the Patriots.