Are the New England Patriots willing to go above and beyond to make sure Tom Brady never plays for another NFL franchise?
That’s a question team owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick might need to ask themselves this offseason when Brady becomes a free agent for the first time, although it sounds like the Patriots are prepared to answer in the affirmative, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
“To me, the owner makes decisions like this. From my understanding, the Patriots ownership, who writes the checks, is willing to pay Brady more than $30 million,” Rapoport said Thursday on WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe.” “There’s obviously a lot more to it than that, but my issue, or my sort of report, was basically that the Patriots want Tom Brady. They are willing to go where they have not gone before to keep him. I think Tom Curran had a similar report saying the Patriots would extend themselves, which I believe is true also.
“To me, this is not a situation where they’re gonna go, ‘Alright, the most we’ve paid you is $22.5 million or whatever it is, we’re sticking to that.’ This is something where they want Tom Brady to return, they think they can get him back, and they’re willing to go where they have not gone to do it.”
Although it’s fair to assume Kraft will be heavily involved in trying to keep Brady in New England, NBC Sports’ Tom E. Curran reported Sunday that Belichick will make the final call on how far the Patriots are willing to go. This is important to note, seeing as how it’s long been debated whether Kraft overruled Belichick when New England traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, and Rapoport doesn’t anticipate any issues at this time.
” … I don’t believe that Belichick and Kraft are on different pages as far as what they’d be willing to pay Tom Brady. I have not heard that. It would be a surprise to me if that was true,” Rapoport said Thursday. “I also know that — look, we’ve seen Brady deal with his contract situation in the past. He has never demanded top dollar. He’s always wanted to make whatever money he makes, but to make sure they have weapons. It seems to me like making sure the team is better is as important, if not more important, to Brady than maximizing every dollar.”
Ultimately, Brady’s future could depend on what the quarterback truly wants for the next chapter in his storied career.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports