At a time when: (1) more and more franchise quarterbacks end up playing for other franchises; and (2) there’s a clear sense that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will want to play football longer than the Patriots want him to play football for them, many believe Brady is destined to finish his career elsewhere.
The man who owns the franchise wants to see Brady remain with the team until he retires.
“I sure hope so,” Kraft said on NFL Network, via Tom Curran of CSNNE.com. “We did something creative; he was a visionary and he allowed us to restructure his contract in a way that was good for us. I know I personally and our whole fan base only want to see him always have that Flying Elvis or Pat Patriot, if we’re doing throwbacks.”
With Brady, as Curran said earlier this week on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk, hoping to play until 43, it would mean six more years — two years beyond the four-year contract that will be signed by second-rounder Jimmy Garoppolo.
“We believe that Tom has a lot of play left,” Kraft said. “The way he takes care of his body, the way he eats, the way he plays, the way he trains, people look up to him. At the same time, that’s a position [where] if you don’t have someone strong at that position, look what happened how Tommy took over in that game after 9/11 when we delayed a week? Mo Lewis, our friend from the Jets, took Drew [Bledsoe] out and if we didn’t have someone like Tommy in our system, it would have been very devastating. In any business, you always need disaster insurance [for] the most important thing. And now we have a young man [in Jimmy Garoppolo] that I hope he’s as good as everyone feels. I also hope he doesn’t get a chance to start for a long, long time.”
Brady arguably isn’t as good as he used to be, but he’s still better than most quarterbacks in the NFL. The question becomes whether the Patriots will deem him to be the best option as his skills necessarily decline.
One major factor will continue to be his salary and cap number. Last year’s contract extension allows the Patriots to keep him for the next four years. Things get interesting once the current deal expires and a 40-year-old Brady is looking for one more contract, from Kraft or someone else.