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Tom Brady rumors swirl as free agency approaches

Unrestricted free agent Tom Brady prepares for his first chance to test the market.

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots signals to teammates during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Reports on Tom Brady’s free agency status have been plentiful but sorting them out has been tough. Early on Thursday, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said, “Brady is currently operating under the belief that he will enter free agency to play somewhere other than New England next season, a sentiment the quarterback has shared with others.” Darlington went on to say, “I’m now at the point where I would be stunned if Tom Brady went back to New England.” Darlington isn’t one for hyperbole, so, at least from his reporting, he believes Brady is gone.

Later in the day, Ian Rapoport reported the Patriots haven’t “been engaged” in any talks at all with Brady. Rapoport did say that the lack of a new CBA is likely the reason for that, but while the Patriots and Brady aren’t talking, Brady’s agent Don Yee is talking to teams in Indianapolis right now. Even ESPN’s fantasy analyst Matthew Berry says that in his discussions with coaches and team personnel around the league at the combine, the majority believed Brady was going to test free agency.

The CBA might be the reason the Patriots haven’t engaged with Brady, but it looks like Brady is going full force into free agency with an open mind about where he lands. The Patriots will likely do all they can to bring Brady back though. They really don’t have another choice at this point, as their options are slim at best. In the end, it will be up to Brady and how much he wants to give a new team a whirl in his waning playing days. We can’t know that unfortunately, so speculation will continue to be rampant.

If Brady does end up hitting the market, there are plenty of teams who could use his services despite a down 2019 statistically. Brady still showed that he’s a capable quarterback and a lack of offensive support around him likely hurt his numbers last season.

Currently, the Patriots have -150 odds to retain Brady, while the Raiders are at +500, the Titans at +700, and the Colts at +1000. The Colts and Raiders have some old beefs with Brady, but I’m sure they could get past them to have the future Hall of Famer lead their team for a couple of years.

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