Tom Brady: 2020 Free Agency

Tom Brady: 2020 Free Agency

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Story Originally Published by The Boston Globe (3/13/20)


The start to the NFL’s new league year is fast approaching. And that means one big thing: Tom Brady will likely make a decision on his future soon.

Beginning Monday, teams are allowed to contact the agents of players who will become free agents. That means Brady.

On March 17 at 4 p.m., Brady’s contract with the Patriots will expire. On the last day of the 2019 league year, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.

Here’s a very simplified version of what could happen:

  • Brady re-signs with the Patriots before his contract expires. He avoids free agency and it allows the Patriots to spread the $20.25 million signing bonus he agreed to last August over three years (2019, 2020 and 2021), which helps with salary-cap ramifications.
  • Brady re-signs with the Patriots after March 18. If the contract is allowed to expire, the $13.5 million Brady was to be paid would be accelerated to the 2020 season, meaning the Patriots would need to have that money included in his new contract.
  • Brady signs a deal with a new team.
  • Brady changes course and decides to retire.

We’re tracking each move and development between now and March 17, or when Brady signs a contract — plus anything else you might need to know.

The latest Tom Brady developments:

Wednesday, March 11 | 6 days until March 17

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Buccaneers want Tom Brady. Like, pretty bad.

Rick Stroud laid out all the details in his Wednesday column. Essentially, it doesn’t seem like the Bucs owners and Bruce Arians will let Brady’s free agency window go by without taking a swing.

▪ Robby Anderson would love a chance to play with Brady, he said this week.

▪ Jon Gruden is sick of getting questions about Brady.

The Titans are bowing out of the Brady sweepstakes, instead deciding to focus on locking down Ryan Tannehill.

Tuesday, March 10 | 7 days until March 17

NFL insider John Clayton told a 49ers podcast that he thinks San Francisco will pursue Tom Brady, but not try to get him.

“The problem is the cap problem that’s going to be created,” Clayton said. “You know it’s not a big deal in terms of Jimmy Garoppolo because again you’re only getting $4.2 million of a cap hit. But also it now shrinks down the amount of money available for the George Kittles and some of the re-signings and all that stuff. I think what it does is it just shortens the window by a year or so.”

Monday, March 9 | 8 days until March 17

▪ Tom Brady made an important announcement about his future on Monday – just not the one that everyone is waiting for.

The Patriots QB announced the launch of 199 Productions, his new multiplatform production company. Yes, the name is an homage to where he was chosen in the 2000 NFL draft.

The first project for the new company? A documentary about football.

▪ Could Brady and Gisele Bundchen be done house shopping?

Rumors are swirling that the couple reportedly purchased a mansion in Greenwich, Conn., in November. While rumors swirled about the property in January, prompting fans to wonder why Brady would sell his Brookline home and move out of state.

Speaking of that Brookline home: You can now take a virtual tour of the Chestnut Hill property, on the market for a cool $33.9 million.

▪ A.J. Brown is interested in seeing Ryan Tannehill return to the Titans. If not him, he has another target.

"If things don’t go as planned and we get Tom [Brady] or whatever, who wouldn’t want to play with Tom Brady? I’m just going to be honest.”

Sunday, March 8 | 9 days until March 17

Charlie Weis jumped on Sirius XM and revealed he has been speaking with Brady about his former player’s impending free agency, and the message was ominous: “Nobody knows anything.”

Here’s what Weis said:

“I do have one bit of scoop for us. I’ve been texting with Tommy,” said Weis, who served as Brady’s offensive coordinator in New England from 2000-04. “I don’t (usually) pass along these conversations, but one thing he told me, ‘Nobody knows anything. So anyone who is telling you they know, they don’t know.’ I’m not going through any other part of the conversation (but) I followed up and he said, ‘Clean it up.’ So I’m cleaning it up.”

Saturday, March 7 | 10 days until March 17

Julian Edelman is going to great lengths to ensure Tom Brady stays with the Patriots.

First, it was his “Stay! Tom 2020” T-shirts that called for “a quarterback you can trust" that went viral.

Now, he’s apparently handing them out to people who can help his message get heard: Celtics players.

Friday, March 6 | 11 days until March 17

Earlier this week ESPN reported that Tom Brady remains in “consistent contact” with Antonio Brown and according to one of Brown’s attorneys, Brady told Brown to keep himself in shape so they can possibly reunite.

Brady only added attention to that rumor on Friday. He quote tweeted a tweet from Brown that read “Anger and ego kicked my ass for about 6 months I forgot about hard work and grace has success took a shot yet!” with a heart emoji.

In other Brady news on Friday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on “Get Up” that the Titans believe they have a good chance to get Brady.

“I just spoke with sources on this. I was told the Titans believe they have a pretty good chance in a head-to-head matchup with the Patriots to land Tom Brady,” Fowler said.

That wasn’t the only thing Fowler reported. He also added that there’s a mystery team in the mix for Brady’s services.

“I’m also told that there’s a mystery team — a third team — that’s firmly in the mix, all right? So cue the music,” Fowler said.

Wednesday, March 4 | 13 days

The Boston Herald and NBC Sports Boston have weighed in on an interesting possibility: Could Tom Brady end up on the 49ers? And Jimmy Garoppolo on the Patriots? It’s not out of the question.

And then, news trickles out that Brady and Bill Belichick spoke on Tuesday night, and it didn’t go well.

However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter refuted the notion that the call was detrimental to the situation.

Saturday, Feb. 29 | 17 days

While the football world waits for Tom Brady to make his decision, at least we know what he’s up to: watching college basketball.

Brady, Julian Edelman and “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon were seated courtside at a Syracuse-North Carolina game on Saturday afternoon.

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