It’s going to be an uncomfortable couple of months for Patriots fans as they await word on where Tom Brady will be playing next season.
If you read into recent comments made by Brady, and team owner Robert Kraft it’s clear that there is a strong pull on both sides for Brady to remain in the only place he’s called home.
“I’ll explore those opportunities whenever they are. If it’s the Patriots, great. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know,” Brady told NBC Sports Peter King. “I just don’t know. I love playing football. I still want to play football. I think I still can play at a championship level. I’ve just got to go do it. I’m motivated to get back to work and training.”
The Patriots season came to an abrupt end with an upset 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday. Considering how competitive Brady is, he took the loss in stride. And is using that same zen philosophy when it comes to assessing his future.
“The sun’s coming up tomorrow,” the Patriots quarterback said. “Especially as I’ve gotten older, you realize that life goes on. I’ve been so fortunate to play for such a great owner and for such a great coach. Nobody could have had it better than me. I absolutely still do love this game. I think a lot of other people who are great at what they do—great artists or great actors or great businessmen—they don’t have to stop what they love as they get older. I know there’s football still in here.”
Speaking to King, Patriots owner Robert Kraft was unequivocal in his desire to bring Brady back.
“My hope and prayer is No. 1, he [Brady] play for the Patriots. Or No. 2, he retires,” said Kraft. “He has the freedom to decide what he wants to do and what’s in his own best personal interest.”
Brady did say immediately following Saturday’s loss that it’s “pretty unlikely” he’ll retire. Still Kraft hopes when Brady does hang it up, he’ll have only played for one team his entire career.
“I’m thinking of all that, of all the quarterbacks who went elsewhere, and I just hope and believe that Tom . . . he is so special that he’s earned the right to do what’s best for him. . . . But I just hope and pray we fit into his plans. He is unique in the kind of leader he is, his work ethic, his selfless nature, everything. Think about it: He’s been with us 20 percent of the life of the NFL.”
So if Brady and Kraft hope it works out here in New England, the natural conclusion is this comes down to what Bill Belichick thinks his franchise quarterback is worth and whether Brady can live with that amount. If it’s close, Brady stays.
When asked on Monday if the Patriots have a timeline for when they plan to start discussing a new deal for Brady, Belichick responded with one word…”No.”