Report: Tom Brady 'Prepared' to Meet With Other Teams During Free Agency
Earlier this month it was reported that Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have had no ongoing contract negotiations that would keep Brady a Patriot into the 2020 season. That was a bit of a surprise, as one would think New England would try to do what they can to retain the 42-year-old QB before he hits free agency in March. Instead, the team is taking their time before they give Brady any kind of offer.
But we may now know why the Patriots are taking a slow approach with Brady. And it may be because the future Hall of Famer won't listen to the team's offers until March 18.
Per CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, it would be "extremely surprising" if Brady agreed to a new pact with the Patriots before he became a free agent, which is on March 18.
"It would be extremely surprising if Brady were to agree to any new pact with the Patriots prior to the start of free agency in March, I'm told, and while his process could still result in a return to New England it is far from certain at this point, La Canfora wrote Sunday morning. "Brady intends to take a methodical approach to his first foray into free agency, as, at age 42, this will be the final contract of his playing career."
La Canfora also mentioned that Brady fully intends to field interviews with other teams when the free agency window opens.
"For the first time in his NFL career, Tom Brady is prepared to discuss a future with teams beyond the New England Patriots, sources said, and for the first time since he took over as a starter nearly two decades ago, the Patriots are unsure of who will be under center in 2020."
One source described it to La Canfora as "human nature" for Brady to want to explore other opportunities in the league outside of New England.
"Brady and his team will weigh all options available to determine which opportunity provides the best chance to continue competing for the Lombardi Trophy and to see what other organizations think of him at this late stage in his career. As one source put it, Brady will do his due diligence to assess all realistic possibilities, with it only "human nature" to explore this chance to embrace his free-agent status for the first time in his career."
While it was already insinuated that Brady would test free agency this offseason, what wasn't known, if La Canfora is reporting the truth, is that Brady would more than likely not come to an agreement with the Patriots before he hit free agency. One would have thought if New England came to Brady with a juicy enough offer that the veteran QB would put ink to paper before the free agency window opened. But according to La Canfora, that's a long shot.
Brady knows that he can drive his price tag up by talking with other teams and fielding contract offers, which could then deter the Patriots from low-balling him with a team-friendly deal. That idea should scare owner Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick, who have a tremendous decision to make in March that could drastically effect the franchise they are a part of.