With roughly one month before the start of the new league year, Tom Brady still seems on course for free agency. As of late last week, the Patriots and Brady have yet to engage in contract talks, ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss reports.
That shouldn’t necessarily be cause for panic among Patriots fans. Brady has been upfront and clear about his intentions for months – he plans to test the waters and chat with interested teams in March before signing his next deal.
Brady, at this point, has all of the power for obvious and contractual reasons. If Brady is not on the Patriots’ roster on March 18th, the Patriots will be hit with a $13.5MM cap charge thanks to the structure of his deal. Ideally, the Patriots would like to extend Brady before that point to solidify their plans and smooth out the fiscal impact. Right now, the Pats are projected to have $29MM in cap space.
For what it’s worth, Brady’s buddy and former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis believes that the QB will prioritize winning over money.
“I texted him when they picked the top 100 … and said ‘Congrats.’ He said ‘For what?’ I said for being part of the top 100 and then on top of it, [some in the media] picked you to be the starter. He goes, ‘You know the only thing I’m worrying about is a ring,’” Weis told SiriusXM recently. “That kind of sums it up. He wants to win another championship. That’s why he’s still playing. He wouldn’t play for money at this point.”
The Chargers and Raiders have been heavily connected to Brady, but the future Hall of Famer figures to have a long list of suitors in March. The Titans, for example, could throw their hat in the ring if they are unable to find middle ground with free agent Ryan Tannehill.
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