As the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady talk about the next new contract between the two parties, there’s one card that Brady will never play: The “I’ll become a free agent and sign elsewhere” card.
Asked by Peter King of TheMMQB.com if Brady believes he’ll spend every year of his career with the Patriots, Brady initially said, “That’s an impossible question because I don’t make those choices.”
As to the more specific question of whether he wants to remain in New England, Brady made his position clear.
“Of course,” Brady told King. “I don’t ever want to play for another coach. I don’t want to play for another owner. But this is professional sports. I’ve seen some of the best players I’ve ever played with on other teams. I’ve seen Jerry Rice play for the Raiders, Joe Montana play for the Chiefs, Brett Favre play for a lot of teams. You never know. That’s why I want to keep taking care of what I need to take care of. That’s what it comes down to. I want to take care of Tom Brady. I want to make sure Tom is available to the team, Tom is playing at a high level, so the team wants to keep him.”
One factor that makes Brady more attractive to the Patriots as he ages is his cap burden. As he prepares to turn 40, his cap number for 2017 will be $14 million, a middle-of-the-pack figure that doesn’t nearly approach his value.
Come 2018, the cap number moves to $22 million. While a larger number, it’s still far short of the value he brings to the table. Regardless, Brady’s contracts in recent years suggest that he never wants the team to regret his cap charge, or to begin considering that there may be a more cost-effective option at the position.