The New England Patriots may have hopes of bringing back Tom Brady for next season, but a new report indicates that the team may not secure his return before the future Hall of Famer tests free agency for the first time in his career.
Brady's contract is set to expire with the start of the new NFL year and is reportedly a coveted asset in free agency, with reports that close to a dozen teams are interested in signing him. A number of NFL insiders and betting outlets believe that he will ultimately return to the Patriots to play out his career on the team he has led to nine Super Bowls, though a new report from ESPN indicates that the team has not had any movement toward a new deal just yet.
The report noted that Brady and the Patriots may be running out of time to get a contract extension in place before he officially becomes a free agent.
"It is officially one month until the start of the March 16 legal tampering period when teams can negotiate with representatives for upcoming free agents, which narrows the timeline for Brady, Kraft and Belichick to come together and have the all-important meeting to set the table for whether Brady will be back in New England," the report from Mike Reiss noted. "The Patriots are expected to seek clarity on Brady's intentions before the start of free agency on March 18, because his decision will have a significant trickle-down effect on the team's overall plans."
Reiss said he believes there is still an 80 percent chance that Brady returns to the Patriots, but other reports indicate that it will not be cheap for New England. While he has taken team-friendly contracts with the Patriots in the past, in order to allow the team to surround him with talent, he is reportedly looking to make some more money as his career begins to wind down. As The Inquisitr reported, the Las Vegas Raiders are rumored to be planning to offer Brady a two-year, $30 million deal that would put him at the top of the pay scale for quarterbacks.That Patriots may be working on some contingency plans if their long-term quarterback does end up leaving. Another report from The Inquisitr noted that the Patriots may have interest in New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Taysom Hill, who served as something of a jack-of-all-trades for the Saints, but has made it clear that he wants to be a franchise quarterback.