When training camp commences July 27 in Foxboro, the New England Patriots will have some noticeable changes.
Veteran Malcom Butler is back. Rookies Cole Strange and Tyquan Thornton are here. And someone other than Josh McDaniels - Joe Judge, Matt Patricia or perhaps Bill Belichcik himself - will be calling offensive plays.
Football fans will also be in for some changes in 2022, most notably on TV broadcasts of games. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have left for ESPN's Monday Night Football, replaced at Fox by Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen.
And iconic announcer Al Michaels ditched NBC's Sunday Night Football to lead Amazon's new streaming Thursday night package. Soon - whether it's next season or beyond - the landscape will be further disrupted when former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hangs up his helmet and dons a headset at Fox.
The 77-year-old Michaels, who signed a deal with Amazon in the same ballpark as the five-year, $75 million contract that Buck inked with ESPN, has been in the media business long enough to understand he shouldn’t take every report at face value. He also, however, understands the business is changing.
Take, for example, the contract supposedly awaiting Brady at Fox: 10 years, $375 million.
“The Brady deal, I don’t know whether the number is right,” Michaels told NBC Sports’ Peter King. “I don’t know whether he’s a brand ambassador, whatever that’s supposed to mean. It can’t just be for doing games. It has to be other stuff. ... We’re all doing pretty well. Enjoy it. Especially at this point of my life, I mean, great. More power to anybody who can get whatever they get. That’s what the market will bear.”
Olsen, meanwhile, is fully aware his promotion to Fox's "A Team" could last all of one season if Brady decides to retire - and this time stay retired - from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Olsen, who will call Super Bowl LVII on February 12, was a guest on The Adam Schefter Podcast this week and said he appreciated that FOX was upfront in telling him about Brady joining the FOX family.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to do it," Olsen said. "I don’t know if it’s going to be one year or two years. ... Tom Brady is Tom Brady. I get it. I’m not naïve. I understand the way things operate. I’m going to go out there and do what me and Kevin did last year and try to even get better. If that day comes, that I get replaced by Tom, I get it."