Patriots owner Robert Kraft made it clear this week he expects Tom Brady to remain New England’s quarterback for “quite a while,” which certainly jives with the 41-year-old’s stated desire to play until he’s 45 years old.
That means the Patriots organization will have to sit down with Brady at some point and negotiate his next contract, as his current deal is set to expire after the 2019 NFL season.
It’s no secret Brady has left money on the table over the years, which has helped greatly in New England’s roster construction. Could Brady finally use his leverage to his advantage?
Nick Wright explained Thursday on FS1’s “First Things First” that Brady should ask for a three-year contract with $45 million guaranteed. This would take Brady through his age-45 season — something the QB could find appealing given his stated goal — at a reasonable, below-market cost for Patriots.
It’s hard to imagine Brady playing hardball with the Patriots and vice versa. Even if Brady had some issues with Bill Belichick, as was reported, it’s fairly obvious those differences have been settled. Brady and Kraft, meanwhile, have developed a father-son-like relationship in the 19 years since the Patriots selected the Michigan product in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
That said, Brady theoretically would have plenty of leverage in negotiations, especially with him guiding the Patriots to another Super Bowl appearance this season. He’s still performing at a high level — albeit with some slight regression — and New England no longer has a clear succession plan at quarterback after trading Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers before last season’s trade deadline.
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