Tom Brady’s free agency might be more cut and dried than we think.
Brady for the first time in his NFL career will be eligible to test the open market when the new league year begins in mid-March. As Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently revealed, getting a crack at free agency was important to the star quarterback when he worked out his latest deal in New England.
But if you ask Rodney Harrison, Brady doesn’t have a true desire to flee Foxboro.
Harrison, who was Brady’s teammate for six seasons in New England, thinks TB12’s preference is to keep chugging along with the franchise that drafted him all the way back in 2000. The former safety believes all it might take to keep the marriage alive is an investment from Bill Belichick.
“Their relationship has been kind of up and down,” Harrison said on NBC. “They’ve always had a respect for one another, but I think if Coach Belichick, if he goes to Tom and says, ‘Look, I really want you the next couple years. I’m going to take care of you. Something fair financially, but also I’m going to add some more playmakers around you.’ I think Tom seriously would consider re-signing with the Patriots. He doesn’t want to go anywhere. He just bought a house in Greenwich, Conn., he has ties to the Boston area. Why, if you’re Tom Brady, would you want to go out to say, Las Vegas, and play for the Raiders when you’re already established? He just wants to know that his coach wants him in New England.”
A sign-off from Belichick is far from a guarantee, as the Patriots coach has a history of cutting ties with players a few years early as opposed to a few years late. That said, Brady could prove to be an exception. Outside of his status within the organization and the league as a whole, New England currently doesn’t appear to have a true Plan B at quarterback. A few more years with Brady, even in his twilight years, might be the Patriots’ best option as they bridge the gap to a new era.
While it remains to be seen how Belichick handles the matter, Brady certainly doesn’t have to worry about being valued by the highest-standing member of Patriots brass. Kraft’s “hope and prayer” for the future Hall of Famer is to never see him play for another team.