Tom Brady’s free agency is complicated.
For one, Brady has spent his entire 20-year career with the Patriots, and it’s unclear whether he’s at all motivated to leave New England ahead of his age-43 season, even if he tests the open market when the new league year begins March 18.
And secondly, several potential suitors for Brady have viable quarterback alternatives — including the Tennessee Titans (Ryan Tannehill), Las Vegas Raiders (Derek Carr), New York Giants (Daniel Jones), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Jameis Winston) and Dallas Cowboys (Dak Prescott) — so it’s hard to figure out what exactly the six-time Super Bowl champion’s market will look like. What if those teams are scared off by Brady’s advanced age and 2019 regression?
Still, NFL Media’s Michael Giardi spoke with several people this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis who helped put Brady’s looming free agency into perspective. One executive pointed out that signing Brady has the potential to impact far more than the team’s on-field performance.
“There are games to be won and money to be made,” the executive told Giardi in highlighting Brady’s brand presence. “Don’t discount the bottom line in this league. Ever.”
"don't discount the bottom line in this league. Ever."
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) February 26, 2020
Makes sense. One of the biggest arguments for the Raiders signing Brady is that it’d represent a huge splash for the franchise as it relocates to Las Vegas. A similar case can be made for the Los Angeles Chargers, who are moving into a new stadium next season and could use Brady to boost ticket sales after moving on from longtime quarterback Philip Rivers.
Don’t expect Brady to view himself as merely an attraction, though. He’s proven time and time again that he’s one of the most motivated athletes in American sports history, and he therefore might make his decision based on which organization presents the most appealing challenge.
Brady’s agent, Don Yee, reportedly is scheduled to meet with the Patriots this week at the Scouting Combine.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images