FOXBOROUGH – Earlier in this month, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady officially signed a contract extension that would keep him with the team through the 2021 season. The two year, $70 million dollar extension seemed like an excellent deal at the time, but further investigation into the contract has led to questions about Brady's future with the Patriots.
Despite the years and money in his extension, contract specifics resulted in the notion that Brady might have experience as a free agent, once the end of the season rolls around. Because of Brady's franchise tag stipulations, the two years on his deal will void, resulting in the 42-year-old quarterback becoming a free agent at the end of this year. Now, it makes more sense as to why Bill Belichick did not want to talk about Brady's deal and why the G.O.A.T. told reporters "we'll see what happens," in regards to the deal.
The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that the team wants to move on from Brady and they are planning to transition away from him at the end of the year, whether through his retirement or through his signing with another team. The Patriots homer within me, however, thinks that Brady would never sign with another team and that this deal is just a way of freeing up cap space so New England can add more high-caliber players to the roster to make another deep post-season run. Rumors of Brady's departure have swirled for many years and they have never panned out. The team has been nothing but loyal to him and it has paid dividends. If I had to place a bet, I would say that Brady will be back next year.
But there is an interesting wrinkle to all of this. Also in August, Brady, Gisele Bundchen, and their family listed their home in Brookline for $39.5 million. Why would Brady want to sell his Massachusetts home and sign a free agency-based contract extension all at the same time? On WEEI's Greg Hill show, he had an answer for that when he said the following.
“You shouldn’t read into anything. It takes a long time to sell a house. I don’t know if you guys know, my house is little bit of an expensive one, so it doesn’t fly off the shelves in a couple of weeks. I think I am at a point in my life where there are a lot of considerations that go into playing. I have a very busy professional life, I have a very busy personal life, and any decision that is made has to consider everything.”
Of course, none of that stopped people from reading into things.
While Brady downplayed his house being on the market, he did admit that he is not completely pleased with the change in helmets that has been enforced by the NFL in terms of new safety regulations. Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown threatened to retire if he was not allowed to wear his old helmet. When the NFL rejected his appeal, Brown backtracked. Brady did not threaten retirement, but he did say it would take some time to find a comfortable helmet.
Image via Wikimedia Commons / Jeffrey Beall