If Tom Brady leaves the New England Patriots, where will he go?
No one knows.
The 42-year-old quarterback — he will be 43 by the time next regular season begins — is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career. It’s no sure thing he returns to the Patriots, and so far the landing spots most often mentioned for him have been the Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders and, more recently, the San Francisco 49ers.
But the quarterback market this offseason is robust. And among the other pending free agents is Dallas signal-caller Dak Prescott, who the Cowboys all but certainly will franchise tag if they can’t sign to a contract extension.
So, what if Jerry Jones doesn’t extend or tag Prescott?
ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio on Monday floated the idea of the Cowboys letting Prescott walk and going all in on Brady.
Here’s what Florio wrote:
It’s hard not to wonder whether the Cowboys eventually will reach the end of their rope with Dak, especially with other options on the free-agency market and with more and more college quarterbacks thriving at the next level. Could they tag and trade Dak? Could they decide simply not to tag him at all? Could they pivor to the transition tag, which would give him a chance to test the market and provide the Cowboys a chance to match?
Here’s a potential wildcard: Tom Brady. A week ago, he wasn’t being linked to any teams in the NFC. Now that the 49ers chatter seems to be real (the 49ers still haven’t shot it down, and they easily could), maybe Cowboys owner and G.M. Jerry Jones will decide that life is all too short to not go all in, and maybe Jerry goes all in with Brady.
The Cowboys have the talent to strike now, and pairing new head coach Mike McCarthy with Brady would be a fascinating scenario. That said, Jones and Co. very much would be mortgaging their future by hitching their wagon to a 43-year-old quarterback while letting a gifted, though occasionally inconsistent, option like Prescott walk.
We’ll find out soon enough what will happen, though. The new league year opens March 18, with the legal tampering period beginning two days prior.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images