To the perspective of NFL fans, Tom Brady had an off season. His completion percentage, yards, and touchdowns was down from last season. Even though the Patriots went 12-4 on the season, people believed the team was not as good as they have been offensively.
Much of that has to do with the inconsistent play of the receivers who had a lot of movement from signings, cuts, trades and injuries. The rushing attack was not as good as expected, since they ranked 18th in the league in rushing yards. After starting the season 10-1, the team lost four of their last six games, including to the Dolphins in Week 17 for a chance to get a first-round bye. And they lost to the Titans 20-13 in the Wild Card.
Many questions speculate in regards to what Brady is going to do in the offseason. He has several options to choose from. He can decide to stay with the Patriots and sign a new contract to end his career. Or he can choose to walk and sign with another NFL team in free agency. The last choice is he can run off into the sunset and retire and start his hall of fame eligibility early.
It would be hard to believe that he would choose to retire. He has stated on several occasions that he wants to play football until he is 45 years old.
“I would say it’s pretty unlikely,” Brady told reporters after the Wild Card loss to the Titans. “Hopefully unlikely.”
There were reports earlier in the season with Brady putting his house up for sale which led many people to believe he was on his way out, but that isn’t an indication of Brady retiring or moving on from the Patriots.
With retirement mostly being off the table, that brings up either staying with the Patriots or picking another team.
Brady Staying with Patriots
There are some components for Brady wanting and needing to stay in Boston. His relationship with owner Robert Kraft is strong. Kraft has stated to the media his feelings on Brady staying with the Patriots.
“My hope and prayer is number one, he play for the Patriots. Or number two, he retires,” Kraft told NBC Sports’ Peter King about Brady. “He has the freedom to decide what he wants to do and what’s in his own best personal interest.”
Kraft has been known for fighting for Brady to stay on the team. There was a point a few years ago where coach Bill Belichick was thinking about the future and wanting current San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo taking over for Brady sooner than later. Kraft shut it down and forced a Garoppolo trade to San Francisco for a second round pick. It was a move that Belichick reportedly was not happy about making.
A lot of people have thought of that move being the action that hurt Brady and Belichick’s working relationship. But that hasn’t stopped the team from winning a Super Bowl last season against the Rams. The two have been able to still work together and win games together so this shouldn’t be a problem. Belichick has been quiet about his feelings on whether he wants Brady back or not, but Kraft has stated that it is Brady’s choice to make.
Brady Chooses Another Team
Brady might want to see what it’s like to be a free agent. Many players have stayed at places for a long period of time and then have been curious as to see what free agency is like. This is a chance for Brady to go back home to California and stay in warm weather in Los Angeles for the Chargers. Philip Rivers is not expected to be back with the Chargers, which could mean moving on to another quarterback.
Other teams could be in the hunt for quarterbacks like the Dolphins, Bengals, Colts, and Titans. Many of these teams are quarterback hungry and could be in the market to offer Brady a lot of money to join them. Some seem very unlikely because Brady wants to win now and most of them are needing to rebuild their franchises from scratch.
The Predicted Result?
Most likely, Brady will choose to stay in New England and finish the last year or two of his career with the Patriots. This team is in need of some help on offense, but this team still won the AFC East at 12-4. Their defense had one of their best years in a while and look like a force in the next few seasons.
Brady knows the offense and has trust in Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ coaching. Even if there is some issues there, there is no denying that Belichick is one of the greatest coaches of all time coaching one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. As long as they are together, they will always be one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl.