Darlington’s sources also say that New England will still have an opportunity to make its pitch to Brady, but the 42-year-old passer is currently looking at his potential options with the mindset that he will walk away from the only NFL team that he has ever known. If that happens, it would bring an end to the most prolific dynasty in league history.
A meeting between Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has not yet been scheduled, Darlington hears. For what it’s worth, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe says that Belichick does not see much sense in talking to the future Hall of Famer until he knows if a new collective bargaining agreement will be ratified (Twitter link). The proposed CBA has been sent to league players for a vote, but the final tally is not expected until early March. That would still give the Pats enough time to sit down with Brady before the legal tampering window opens on March 16, but Brady may have his mind made up by them (after all, agents and teams frequently have back channel discussions well in advance of the tampering period).
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says league-wide interest Brady — who is seen as the linchpin of the QB market — is substantial (Twitter link). La Canfora hears Brady’s age is not seen as a deterrent, and plenty of owners are interested in his on-field and off-field value. JLC also says that Brady is willing to listen to any team with a plan for winning in 2020.
The Chargers, Raiders, and Buccaneers have been definitively linked to Brady, though there are surely other teams who would be happy to at least kick the tires. And if Brady does depart Foxborough, the Pats could target Andy Dalton as a potential replacement.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.