The thought of Tom Brady playing for any team other than the Patriots is almost impossible for sports fans to wrap their heads around, but the future Hall of Famer continues to give fans in New England reasons to believe they may only have months remaining to call him their quarterback.
On Tuesday, Brady announced that he is stepping down from his position as regional ambassador for “Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port.” The event is an annual one in Massachusetts run by Best Buddies, which is an international organization that works to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Brady said in a press release that he is passing the torch to teammate Julian Edelman, Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum, celebrity chef Guy Fieri, and Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III.
“I am incredibly proud of all the great things that we have accomplished with the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port over the years and I look forward to continuing to support the organization as a Global Ambassador,” Brady said.
In other words, Brady plans to continue working with the organization. But for some reason, he will no longer be serving as co-chair of the annual Best Buddies event in New England. Why? Don’t expect an explanation from the 42-year-old quarterback, but speculation is already raging.
Brady is in the final year of his contract with the Patriots. The team reworked his deal prior to the season to essentially give him a raise for 2019, but the new contract also states that he cannot be franchise tagged after that season. That means he will become a free agent for the first time in his career if he doesn’t sign an extension with the Patriots prior to March.
No need to panic, right Pats fans?
Call it a coincidence, but Brady and his wife Gisele also put their Boston-area mansion on the market back in October. Brady urged people not to read anything into that, but it’s impossible not to.
There have been numerous reports stating that Brady is setting himself up to leave the Patriots, and the latest said he will need something between him and the team needs to radically change over the next few months if he is going to be back in 2020. He also still plans to play another three or four seasons, and he seemed to hint earlier this season that he is open to doing that outside of New England.
Of course, all of this could mean nothing. It could also be strategy from Brady to get Robert Kraft and the Patriots to commit to him with a multi-year contract, but there’s no question there is a greater possibility at this very moment that he will be leaving than there has ever been during his 20-year career. When you read the signs and consider the fact that he has been openly unhappy this season, it’s easy to feel like Brady has one foot out the door at Gillette Stadium.