The Patriots and Tom Brady may be heading for a divorce. From the perspective of owner Robert Kraft, that won’t be happening.
Asked on the street by TMZ.com whether the Patriots will be keeping Brady for a 21st season, Kraft said, “We plan to.”Surely, Kraft wants to. And he has said that he’d prefer retirement from Brady to a contract with a new team.
But Brady has the ability to do whatever he wants, with the Patriots unable to narrow his options. They’ll either sign him to a new contract, or he’ll sign somewhere else. He has made it clear, repeatedly, that he’ll play in 2020.
Until Brady and/or the Patriots declare that he won’t be playing in New England, few will regard the possibility that he’ll be moving on as seriously as they should. And if/when it’s over for Brady in New England, my guess (and it’s just a guess) is that the news to come via a carefully-worded joint statement aimed at ensuring that neither the player nor the team gets the blame for the divorce. There’s too much history and too much affection between Brady and Kraft for one side or the other to try to paint the other as the villain.
Whatever the form or format of the decision, that will be the first major domino for the 2020 offseason. And if Brady is in play, the month of March will be the most interesting month of March since the one-two punch from eight years ago, when Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos and the Broncos dumped Tim Tebow onto the Jets.