Report: ‘More likely than not’ Tom Brady leaves Patriots
Las Vegas oddsmakers believe there is a strong chance Tom Brady will return to the New England Patriots next season, but at least one connected NFL reporter thinks the handicappers have it wrong.
ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, who has a fairly close relationship with Brady stemming from when Darlington exclusively covered the Miami Dolphins and the AFC East, told “Golic and Wingo” on Thursday that it is time for people to accept the fact that there’s a “very real possibility” Brady will sign with a team other than the Patriots this offseason. Darlington went as far as to say it is “more likely than not” that Brady has played his last snap for New England.
“It’s time to wrap our heads around the idea of Tom Brady leaving New England because it’s a VERY REAL possibility.”
— Golic and Wingo (@GolicAndWingo) February 20, 2020
If Brady and the Patriots don’t agree to an extension before March 18, the 42-year-old will become a free agent for the first time in his career. The Patriots reportedly want an answer from him before that time, as there would be serious salary cap consequences for them if they wait until after the start of free agency to re-sign Brady. That could also leave New England scrambling for a replacement in the event that Brady does leave.
We’ve said all along that Brady is likely using his leverage in an attempt to get the Patriots to improve their roster, as he was openly upset with his lack of a supporting cast in 2019. Starting fresh in a new city with a new offense and coaching staff would be extremely difficult for Brady, who will turn 43 before the start of the 2020 season.
The Patriots reportedly only consider one team a serious threat to sign Brady, but he could be more open to the idea of leaving than many believe.