The Tom Brady sweepstakes have begun to take shape.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning the Los Angeles Chargers are a “legitimate option” for Brady should he leave New England. Adam Schefter soon thereafter followed up with a report indicating the Las Vegas Raiders also will be in the mix for the 42-year-old if he and the Patriots are unable to reach an agreement before the start of the new NFL year.
But moments after Schefter delivered the news to the ESPN airwaves, his colleague and Brady’s former teammate, Tedy Bruschi, explained why he believes the six-time Super Bowl champion ultimately will remain in Foxboro.
“Well, guys, my gut feeling is Tom, when we go through all of this and play this all out, Tom will eventually go back to New England,” Bruschi said on “Postseason NFL Countdown.” ” …The structure that he has in New England, the ownership, the head coach, how things are run there. Free agents come in and they quote to their mouths, ‘It’s just different here. Things are run differently here.’ I can imagine the moment, if Tom Brady were to go somewhere else, sitting in a team meeting, installing whatever they do, the way they run things upstairs, downstairs, nutrition, everything, him saying, ‘Man, it’s just different here.’
“So, he’s earned the right to be a free agent and be courted by Las Vegas, of course, the Chargers — those types of teams. But when it all comes down to it, Tom Brady’s smart enough to understand, I believe, and so is Robert Kraft, that there is still a good thing there in New England and the success that they had, he was a huge reason for it and if he wants to continue to have that type of success — those 10-, 12-, 13-win seasons — that’s the place he’s gotta be back to because I really think it can end badly somewhere else.”
The Patriots appear to be serious about retaining Brady, as the franchise reportedly is willing to offer its longtime starting quarterback upward of $30 million to stick around. But while finances, obviously, are a part of the equation, they’re far from the end-all, be-all as it pertains to Brady. The future Hall of Famer’s reported top priority is being surrounded by quality weapons, something New England at this moment in unable to offer.
So while Bruschi’s prediction very well could end up coming to fruition, the Patriots have a lot of work to do.