Tom Brady is entering the final year of his contract.
There’s no reason to panic. But it’s certainly something to keep an eye on. Because after all, who else do the New England Patriots have at quarterback?
My initial answer to that question is: Who cares? This is Brady’s team, and it should be Brady’s team until he decides to call it quits. He’s earned that.
Putting all emotional ties to the greatest QB of all time aside, the correct response is actually: Nobody. The Patriots have nobody else at the quarterback position. They have chosen to ride this out with Brady at the helm, and whenever that ship starts to sink, they’re going down with Brady at the helm.
OK, so there are backups in Brian Hoyer, Jarrett Stidham, and Danny Etling. But the only way any of those three see the field in a meaningful game is if there’s a blowout or if Brady gets injured.
Brady is the Patriots’ only option. So, for once, it’s time for the Patriots to reward him as such.
What would be the reason for Brady entering the 2019 NFL season without a contract extension? Do we think Brady is the one who’s rejecting contracts because he wants to test out the free agent market next offseason, or because he’s thinking about only playing one more year? Or are the Patriots simply just being the Patriots?
It’s 100 percent the latter. Bill Belichick is doing business the only way he knows how. And 99 percent of the time, I’m on Belichick’s side when it comes to the way he handles these business matters. Consider this the one percent in which I disagree with him.
That one percent of disagreement comes with a whole lot of confusion, perhaps more than anything. The idea that you’d be playing hardball with Brady at this stage is nothing more than foolish and unnecessary.
Think about it. Jimmy Garoppolo is gone. He’s not walking back through those doors. You can try to tell me all you want that the San Francisco 49ers can choose to opt out of their five-year, $137.5 million contract with Garoppolo after the 2019 season — which they can, at a cap charge of only $4.2 million. But they won’t. And even if they did, the 49ers would be opting out for a reason, a reason that wouldn’t scream to other teams, “Let’s go out and sign Garoppolo!”
If you’re the Patriots, are you really going to sit around and wait to see if San Francisco cuts Garoppolo by the deadline of April 1, 2020? Give me a break. Let it go. The Jimmy G dream is dead. His time in New England is over.
But again, who cares? Brady is still the Patriots quarterback. And that’s a great thing, even as he turns 42 years old in August.
Don’t give me the “what if he gets hurt” excuse either. You could literally say that about everyone in the NFL. The Patriots should cross that bridge when and if they ever even get to it.
So again, what’s the hold up? You have to assume that Belichick wants to wait it out and see what a 42-year-old Brady looks like in the final year of his current deal. Which is a ridiculous mindset to have, if you’re Belichick. But that has to be the only logical reason that we’re even discussing this right now.
And the only logical answer is to give Brady what he wants, and to give it to him before the season begins.
There’s really no other option.
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