The future of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is one of the biggest stories heading into the NFL offseason – will the six-time Super Bowl winner stay put or will he head to pastures new and try to win the big one without Bill Belichick as his head coach?
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Brady and Belichick’s relationship has been the subject of much rumours and speculation over the past few years, but whether or not these two men really like each other does not matter. Together they have inspired the greatest dynasty that the National Football League has ever seen – something that is not supposed to happen with the NFL’s aim for parity.
The pair have combined for six Super Bowl wins and a string of conference and division titles during their time together, but could this sensational run now be over? The Patriots have some work to do this offseason after that dismal home defeat to Tennessee in the Wildcard round of the playoffs, and there are some serious questions about whether or not Brady will be part of that work.
The 42-year-old’s contract with New England is up this offseason and there have been claims that Brady and Belichick are eager to prove that they can win a Super Bowl without each other. For that to happen one of them has to move on, and the most likely out of the two to depart Gillette Stadium is Brady.
The veteran quarterback fanned the flames of speculation on Super Bowl Sunday when he appeared in a television advert for streaming service Hulu, declaring: “They say all good things must come to an end. That the best know when to walk away . . . I’m not going anywhere.” But did he mean he is staying with New England, or was he merely reaffirming his desire to carry on playing in 2020?
Brady has confirmed that he has been in contract with New England since the players cleared out their lockers in the wake of the playoff loss to the Titans, but he was giving very little away amid reports that the Patriots are poised to offer him a deal in excess of $30million a year.
“Yeah, I have [been in contact with New England],” he told Westwood One Sunday. “I’m not going to elaborate much more than that, but yes, I have. I think that’s a pretty normal thing for me. Again, these are people that have been a part of my life for a very long time.
“What a great two decades it’s been. I think they know how I feel about them. And I know how they feel about me. We’ve always had a great relationship. And we always will. There’s not much more to say other than that. There’s a lot that everyone needs to take time to evaluate where they’re at, and the decisions they need to make moving forward. The Patriots will do that. Every team will do that. The players that have the opportunity to be free agents will do that. And when the time’s right, I guess in six weeks from now, everyone will be able to make their decisions.”
Brady’s comments are hard to decipher – they hint that he could move on this summer but they certainly do rule out the chances of him staying put. Bookmaker Unibet is swaying towards the latter though, going 33/100 that the six-time Super Bowl champion is still a New England Patriot when the 2020 season gets underway in September.
The Las Vegas Raiders are reportedly leading to race for Brady’s signature should he decide against re-upping with the Patriots. Head coach Jon Gruden is a huge fan of the experience QB and his arrival would be a blockbuster move ahead of the team’s first season in their new Las Vegas home. The Raiders are 4/1 to snap up Brady before the start of next season, with the Los Angeles Chargers next up at 6/1 as they move on from Philip Rivers. The Chargers are fighting just to stay relevant in the city after following the Rams to LA and a 6/1 swoop for Brady would help their cause.
The Tennessee Titans are now 12/1 shots after reports that Brady and his family were in Nashville last week were rubbished, with both the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers next up at 16/1 ahead of the 25/1 Miami Dolphins and 33/1 Carolina Panthers. The Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints and New York Giants are all out at 50/1 to be Brady’s employers in 2020, and they are joined on that price by a Chicago Bears team who have major question marks at quarterback.
Da Bears suffered a major regression in 2019 after making it to the playoffs the year before, and much of the blame was attributed to third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. General manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy have insisted that Trubisky will still be the team’s starting QB next season despite his struggles, but the window on a Chicago Super Bowl success is shrinking with each year as they try to hold onto that outstanding defense, and because of this they continue to be linked with a string of other QBs. So could the Bears go all in for Brady, who would perhaps play the role of starting QB and mentor to Trubisky? It seems unlikely as far as the bookies are concerned.
Tom Brady’s Team For Week 1 Of 2020 Season:
33/100 New England Patriots, 4/1 Las Vegas Raiders, 6/1 Los Angeles Chargers, 12/1 Tennessee Titans, 16/1 Indianapolis Colts, 16/1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 25/1 Miami Dolphins, 33/1 Carolina Panthers, 50/1 Denver Broncos, 50/1 Chicago Bears, 50/1 Pittsburgh Steelers, 50/1 New Orleans Saints, 50/1 New York Giants, 66/1 Jacksonville Jaguars, 66/1 Dallas Cowboys, 66/1 Detroit Lions, 66/1 Cleveland Browns, 66/1 Washington Redskins, 66/1 Philadelphia Eagles, 66/1 Minnesota Vikings, 80/1 New York Jets, 80/1 San Francisco 49ers, 80/1 Los Angeles Rams, 100/1 Green Bay Packers, 100/1 Cincinnati Bengals, 100/1 Atlanta Falcons, 100/1 Buffalo Bills, 250/1 Houston Texans, 250/1 Kansas City Chiefs, 250/1 Arizona Cardinals, 250/1 Baltimore Ravens, 250/1 Seattle Seahawks.