Until pen is put to paper with one of the other NFL teams, one has to believe the New England Patriots very much are in the running for Tom Brady’s services.

Reports have popped up over the last few days where respected insiders indicate it seems increasingly likely the legendary quarterback bolts from the Pats this offseason. The legal tampering period begins March 16, and Brady is free to sign when the new league year begins March 18.

During an appearance on NFL Network, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport indicated what he would think is a sign that Brady is heading elsewhere.

“If Brady gets through the tampering window and has not signed with the Patriots, if he becomes an actual free agent, I would expect the Patriots to be out at that point,” Rapoport said.

It’s hard to image Brady playing somewhere else, but by no means is it impossible.

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