NFL Insider Continues to Suggest Tom Brady May Not Be on Patriots in 2020

Tim Kelly
October 24, 2019 - 9:13 am

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are 7-0, the defending Super Bowl Champions, and the heavy favorite to win the sixth title of the Brady/Bill Belichick era this season.

But all doesn't seem to be perfect in paradise.

Brady, 42, faces an uncertain future. His $30 million salary for 2020 is non-guaranteed, and the Patriots can void it on March 17, 2020, leaving them with $13.5 million in dead cap money. The trade off for that level of control, is that they can't franchise tag Brady in 2020:

Brady, of course, could retire after the 2020 season. But he's thrown for 11 touchdowns and 1,992 yards through seven games. Even if he's no longer in the discussion for the best quarterback in the sport, he's still one of the better players at the most important position in professional sports.

Thursday, ESPN's Adam Schefter, rather shockingly, laid out three paths for Brady after this season, and suggested that, in his opinion, remaining in New England may be the least likely:

As Schefter noted, Brady's house in Brookline, Massachusetts was listed for sale for $39 million in August. In an interview with WEEI's Greg Hill, he downplayed the connection between that and 2019 potentially being his last season with the Patriots. But, given the structure of his 2020 contract, it certainly raised some eyebrows.

Prior to the season, Schefter suggested that "one way or another," this could be Brady's final season with the Patriots.

Eventually, there will be life in New England after Tom Brady some day. It's unclear, though, why the Patriots wouldn't do everything in their power to assure Brady returns in 2020. Not only is he still playing at a high level, but their backup is 2019 fourth round pick Jarrett Stidham. You never say never in New England - after all, Matt Cassell led the team to a 10-6 record in 2008 - but there doesn't appear to be a clear succession plan for life after Brady.

The Patriots, in recent seasons, have traded away two current starting quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers and Jacoby Brissett of the Indianapolis Colts.

Brady, a sixth round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, has spent his entire with the Patriots. Certainly, there would be a slew of teams interested in acquiring him if he became available this offseason.

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