Curran: Patriots will extend to keep Brady
But by late Friday night, indications I’d gotten were that there will be real effort to keep Brady in New England. And Brady will give them their shot.
My understanding is the Patriots will “extend themselves” financially to get Brady back in the fold. Whether that means they’ll go “in excess of $30M” as Ian Rapoport from NFL Media reported Sunday morning is unknown. Presumably, that’s in excess of a $30M salary in 2020 which would be up from his $23M in 2019.
That would be a leap, especially since there would likely be $6.75M in dead money from Brady’s voided deal added on to the $30M, bringing his cap number to $36.75M in that scenario.
Regardless, Brady hasn’t drawn a line through the Patriots on his list of possible destinations. Not at all.
It was reiterated to me, however, that this isn’t about the money for Brady. It’s about appreciation for what he’s done and can still do.
That appreciation can be shown as much by getting experienced, high-level talent around him as it can with a dollar amount. But the timing for that will be tough for the Patriots.
The owner has declared many times he wants Brady to remain a Patriot. But my understanding is that, just as he wouldn’t force Brady to stay under a franchise tag, he won’t intercede if Belichick concludes moving on from Brady is the best course of action.
While Brady is more than open to remaining a Patriot if things seem destined to improve, the lure of being a free agent is there as well. There are about 10 teams – including the Patriots – that could be attractive landing spots or possible suitors.
Even though I spitballed the other day that the market may be bleak, I’ve gotten more indications that it’s going to be really robust.
If there’s a team with a lot of cap space, a decent crop of foundational players and room for a legend at quarterback, Brady could go there and then that team may become a destination for other free agents. That’s one scenario, at least.
But the other – Brady and the Patriots finding a way to get him to Season 21 as a Patriot – that’s not dead yet.