We're now about a week away from NFL free agency. And that means that Tom Brady will soon be able to officially declare where he wants to play in 2020.
The New England Patriots quarterback has been the talk of the NFL offseason so far as the six-time Super Bowl champion is set to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his 20-year career. It's well within the realm of possibility that he will leave the team this offseason, and there are rumored to be eight teams in the mix for Brady.
But it's really anybody's guess as to where he'll land.
The Patriots are still among those in the mix. But as ESPN's Field Yates reminded Patriots fans, it's important to note that the Patriots essentially granted Brady's request to be a free agent last offseason when they agreed to a restructured deal with him. But they did make an offer to retain Brady longer-term at the time.
So, what does that exactly mean for the Patriots ahead of free agency? According to Yates, the ball is in Brady's court, and he has to tell the Patriots what he's looking for in a deal before free agency.
an offer, but Brady wanted to test the market, which has now has the chance to do.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 8, 2020
The chance for Brady to return to New England is of course possible, but an important step in that process is an understanding for the team of what Brady is seeking in a new deal.
This definitely makes some sense, as Bill Belichick has a habit of valuing players at a very specific price and sticking to it. But perhaps in this instance, there's a little more wiggle room depending on what the market for Brady ends up being like, especially considering the Patriots lack of a clear succession plan at quarterback.
The Patriots should absolutely touch base with Brady and reiterate that they have an offer in the table, even if they believe Brady should make the next move. After all, that offer was made over six months ago and it's possible that the Patriots' valuation of Brady has changed along with Brady's market. But even if it hasn't, opening a dialogue about it could be productive as both sides try to prepare for the future.
Either way, Brady's potential future in New England is very much up in the air and it seems that the two sides could truly be at a stalemate. If Belichick isn't willing to budge on his offer over the course of the next week, that could spell trouble for the Patriots' chances of keeping Brady.
Robert Kraft isn't coming to the rescue to make sure Brady retires a Patriot. So, the immediate future of the Patriots franchise will hinge on whether or not Belichick and Brady can agree on a deal to keep the veteran in New England. Right now, that's looking uncertain at best.