The Patriots have been expressing their gratitude toward Tom Brady in a number of different ways throughout the New England area, but they want the people of Tampa to know how much the six-time Super Bowl champion means to them as well.
On Sunday, the Patriots took out a full-page ad in the Tampa Bay Times to honor Brady. The ad referred to Brady as the GOAT and urged the quarterback’s new fans to “take care of him.”
“To the Buccaneers fans and Tampa Bay community — take care of him. You got a great one.”
— Mark Katches (@markkatches) March 22, 2020
Players and teams taking out full-page ads in their local newspaper is something we have seen countless times throughout the years, but that was a unique idea for Robert Kraft and the Patriots to also run one in a Tampa Bay paper.
The Patriots seem to be doing everything they can do convince their fans Brady wanted the divorce and not the other way around. Running classy newspaper ads is another way to gain fan favor, though that does not mean the gestures are disingenuous.
It appears entirely plausible that the New England Patriots could stand pat and not bring in a veteran starter to replace Tom Brady.
The Patriots have been linked to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who is available via trade. However, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the team has not discussed Dalton as a potential option at this point.
Something would have to change for the Pats to turn their attention to Andy Dalton. He hasn’t been discussed among the Pats’ immediate plans. https://t.co/FWZ3sAZemf
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 21, 2020
Dalton is not currently a target, and neither is Jameis Winston. That essentially means the team is prepared to stick with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback. That could certainly change, but right now, the Patriots don’t seem eager to rush out and get a veteran quarterback.
Now that teams more or less have their starting quarterbacks settled, a handful of guys are left looking for new homes and struggling to find them.
One of them is Jameis Winston, who won’t be back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after they signed Tom Brady. Winston doesn’t really have any prospects as a starter right now.
The one team that is still being linked to potential starters is the New England Patriots. According to Michael Giardi of NFL Media, however, any pursuit of Winston by the Patriots is unlikely.
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 20, 2020
The Patriots value ball protection, and Winston’s 30 interceptions would not fly with them. He’s not a safe enough option. That means Winston is looking at a backup job, but it’s not even clear where that will end up being.
The New England Patriots were reportedly willing to match the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offer to Tom Brady, but apparently the four-time Super Bowl MVP never gave them a chance.
Brady officially signed his contract with the Bucs on Friday, and the deal is reported to be worth $50 million guaranteed over two years. It also includes an additional $9 million in incentives, a no-trade clause and a guarantee that the team won’t franchise tag Brady when the deal expires. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Patriots would have matched the contract. Brady never gave them a chance.
The #Patriots likely would have done this contract, though Tom Brady never came to them with his desire to return. So there was no offer from NE. In the end, only the #Bucs and the #Chargers made offers. The #Raiders sat it out, as well, never offering Brady a deal. https://t.co/Pep1omas6O
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2020
What exactly does that mean? It’s hard to say. On the surface, it looks like Brady never gave the Patriots a chance to match the offer because he had no interest in returning. However, keep in mind there was a report earlier in the week that the Pats did not make a tangible effort to bring Brady back.
We may never know if Brady actually wanted to return or if Bill Belichick genuinely wanted him back. Robert Kraft has certainly made it sound like he would have done what he could to keep Brady, and the Patriots owner even seemed to hint that issues between Belichick and Brady preceded the divorce.
When I spoke to Robert Kraft, he made this analogy about Tom Brady's departure: "Think about loving your wife & for whatever reason, there’s something – her father or mother – that makes life impossible for you & you have to move on but you don’t want to." @nflnetwork #Patriots
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 20, 2020
Reports early on made it seem like the Patriots were willing to spend big to keep Brady, so perhaps they did not communicate that to Brady early enough. It’s possible Belichick tried to slow-play the negotiations and Brady felt he deserved better and decided he wanted a fresh start. Or, maybe he wanted a fresh start all along. The answer likely lies somewhere in between.
It is only a matter of time before Cam Newton is traded or released by the Carolina Panthers, and it just so happens that the former MVP is looking for a job in the same year Tom Brady left the New England Patriots. Are you thinking what we’re thinking?
Apparently some Las Vegas oddsmakers are.
Odds Shark released odds on Monday for which team Newton will be playing for at the start of the 2020 season, and the Washington Redskins had the best odds at +150. The Patriots were a close second at +200.
Odds for what team Cam Newton will be on for Week 1 of the 2020 season (BetOnline):
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) March 19, 2020
There are only so many teams without starting quarterbacks heading into next season, but it’s noteworthy that there’s a sense the Patriots are a potential landing spot for Newton. Whether or not he ends up in New England would depend upon a lot of factors, one of which is his health. If Newton’s foot is fully healthy, the big question would then be how much teams are willing to pay to sign him or extend him. The Patriots have very little salary cap space, so it seems unlikely that they would shell out big money for Newton after not giving Brady the contract he was seeking.
If the Patriots want to save money at the QB position, they are probably going to stick with Jarrett Stidham as their starter. Newton has been linked to other teams that may be more interested in him, but a Bill Belichick-Cam Newton pairing would certainly be a great storyline for the sport.
With Tom Brady having announced on Tuesday that he will not return to the New England Patriots next season, there will now be a desperate attempt from fans and the media to find out where it all went wrong. There are obviously many factors that led to the divorce, but the last real contract negotiation Brady had with the team may have done permanent damage.
Brady entered last offseason in the final year of his contract, and he wanted the Patriots to give him an extension. He previously sought an extension in 2018, but New England ended up building incentives into his contract instead — ones he never reached. When the Patriots finally agreed to give Brady a raise prior to last season, it was apparently in response to the six-time Super Bowl champion becoming disgusted with the organization.
According to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston, Brady considered walking out of training camp last year when the Patriots were not going to make any changes to his contract. What he really wanted was a commitment beyond the 2019 season, but the two sides ultimately settled on a raise and an assurance that Brady would not be hit with the franchise tag this offseason. That paved the way for Brady to start a new chapter elsewhere, which is what he will now do.
Brady and the Patriots never made any real progress in contract talks this offseason. From the way it sounds, Bill Belichick only wanted him back at a price you would expect to have to pay for a 43-year-old quarterback whose skills are declining — not the greatest quarterback of all time. Belichick likely felt the same about Brady’s contract a year ago, which is how we got to where we are today.
Robert Kraft seems to be pointing the finger at Brady a bit, but it’s hard to believe Brady had zero interest in returning to New England. He wanted to feel wanted, and Belichick simply may not have wanted him.
The New England Patriots officially have a vacancy at their starting quarterback spot for the first time in two decades, and they are open to the idea of making a big splash in free agency to fill it.
The Patriots and Carolina Panthers both have interest in signing Bridgewater, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2020
The Panthers announced on Tuesday that they have given Cam Newton and his representatives permission to seek a trade, so they are also in search of a new starting quarterback. ESPN’s Dianna Russini has reported that talks between Bridgewater and the Panthers are “going very well,” but it’s unclear when those talks began. Now that Brady has officially announced he will not be returning to the Patriots, the free agency landscape could shift dramatically.
The Patriots have very little salary cap space, so they may be hesitant to give Bridgewater the type of money teams are expected to offer him. There are obviously many ways to manipulate cap space, but the Panthers are in a better position to pay Bridgewater than New England is.
- Filed Under: