Bill Belichick isn’t ready to talk about whether Tom Brady could be back with the New England Patriots next season.
Speaking one day after the team’s surprising 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the wild card round, Belichick praised the work that Brady had done with the organization but said it was too soon after the team’s playoff exit to start talking about what Brady might do next season. As ESPN’s Mike Reiss noted, Belichick praised Brady as an “iconic figure in this organization” but would not give away much more.
“I’m sure there are a lot of questions about the future. Nobody has thought about the future,” Belichick said.
Belichick also did not know when discussions could start about a contract extension with Brady. The Patriots at one point this season looked to be the top seed in the AFC, starting the season 8-0. But the team stumbled down the stretch, finishing the year 4-4 and losing a first-round bye in the final weekend with a loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Playing on wild card weekend for the first time in a decade, the Patriots were outmatched against the 9-7 Tennessee Titans. After the loss, Belichick seemed in no mood to rush into negotiations with Brady and said that the team would be giving it proper attention in the offseason.
“I want to give the proper attention and communication and detail and thought into my input into those decisions,” he said. “But any decision made is not an individual decision. There are other people involved. There has be some type of communication, understanding, agreement, whatever you want to call it. That’s not a one-way street. I hope you can understand that. One person can’t just decide what everybody else is going to do.”
There has been growing speculation this season that Brady’s time with the Patriots is coming to an end. Brady’s contract will void after this season, making him a free agent for the first time in his career. Both Brady and his personal trainer also put their Boston-area homes up for sale this year, leading to more speculation that Brady could finish his career someplace other than New England.
Bill Belichick calls Tom Brady an “iconic figure in this organization.” He says this isn’t the time, 12 hours after the game ended, to talk about the future. pic.twitter.com/8feUT2nxvF— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 5, 2020
Brady himself has not been willing to speak about what he plans for next season, though he did say after the playoff loss that he had no plans to retire. Brady has previously said that he plans to play into his mid-40s.