Tom Brady soon will embark on uncharted waters.
Brady in March can become a free agent for the first time in his lengthy NFL career. According to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, it was “very important” for the 42-year-old when negotiating his last deal with New England that he would be eligible to hit the open market after the 2019 campaign. Considering how the season transpired, coupled with the Patriots’ salary cap situation, it seems like there’s a real chance Brady will leave Foxboro.
Even just a few years ago, Brady probably would have been the most sought-after free agent if he’d become available. But the future Hall of Famer arguably no longer is a top-tier quarterback, which might be conveyed in his free agency tour. So, where does Brady rank among the top impending free agents? NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal pegs TB12 at No. 9.
“PFF (Pro Football Focus) had Brady as the 11th-ranked quarterback in 2019, which feels about right, despite what some rougher conventional numbers might suggest,” Rosenthal wrote. “Does he really want to start in a new system, in a new city, at age 43?”
It’s a legitimate question by Rosenthal. While the Patriots aren’t shaping up to be a clear-cut Super Bowl contender in the 2020 season, relocating and familiarizing himself with a new organization might be too grand of an undertaking for Brady at this stage in his life and career. With 20 years under his belt, Brady is deeply rooted in New England, and his institutional knowledge for his respective franchise likely is greater than any other player across the league.
So while there are a few teams out there that make some sense as potential landing spots, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Brady stand pat.